Root Canals

Some consider root canals to be an intimidating part of dentistry, but in reality, they can protect you from harmful complications like tooth abscesses and infections that spread throughout your body. At Complete Dental Care of Jamesburg, Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, and his team safely perform root canals to remove inflamed or infected tissue from a painful tooth. To find out if you need a root canal, call Complete Dental Care of Jamesburg, or book an appointment online today.

Root Canals Q & A

Why might I need a root canal?

Root canals are a treatment for badly decayed or infected teeth. In order to understand why you might need a root canal to save your tooth, you need to be familiar with the structure of a tooth. The outermost layer is the enamel, and below the enamel is the dentin. Within the dentin is a region of soft tissue called the pulp, which includes blood vessels and nerves. 

Sometimes, the pulp gets injured or infected. The resulting inflammation causes extreme pain, and often the best choice for treatment is to remove the pulp. That is what happens during root canal therapy. 

What happens during root canals?

During a root canal at Complete Dental Care of Jamesburg, Dr. Shapiro makes a small hole through the enamel and dentin of the inflamed or infected tooth. He accesses and removes the pulp and nerves through this hole and then carefully cleans and disinfects the space within the tooth to remove any remaining bacteria or debris. 

Once the pulp is out, Dr. Shapiro fills and seals the space with a rubber-like material and adhesive cement. You might need a crown to cover the tooth so you can continue using the normal forces of your bite without breaking the tooth or so you can keep it safe from further infection. 

What symptoms signal the need for a root canal?

If the inner pulp becomes inflamed or infected, you often experience a number of symptoms. You should book an appointment with Complete Dental Care of Jamesburg if you experience:

  • Pain when you bite down or chew
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • Visible chips or cracks in your teeth
  • Swollen gums
  • Dark gum discoloration
  • Pimples or bumps on your gums

Some people wait to get root canals because they fear that the procedure is unbearably painful. Thanks to anesthesia and sedation, modern root canals are quite comfortable. Moreover, any discomfort you experience during or after the procedure is far less than the pain of an untreated tooth infection.  

If you’re experiencing severe tooth pain, emergency dental appointments are available.

What happens if I don’t get a root canal?

The consequences of forgoing a root canal for an inflamed pulp are highly severe but avoidable. Without treatment, your tooth may form an abscess. An abscess is a pocket full of pus, causing worsening symptoms along with a foul taste and odorous breath.

Even worse than an abscess, a tooth infection can spread throughout your body if you don’t treat it with a root canal. Depending on where it spreads, this infection can become a threat to your life and will need emergency treatment. 

In cases when a root canal is no longer possible, tooth extraction is the alternative. Dr. Shapiro and his team perform extractions safely at Complete Dental Care of Jamesburg.

For more information about tooth infections and root canal therapy, call Complete Dental Care of Jamesburg, or book your appointment online today.