Root canal procedures are referred to as endodontic therapy or root canal therapy because it focuses on treating the infected pulp inside the tooth and root where the blood vessels and nerves are located. Root canal therapy is a painless procedure because it is performed using ample local anesthesia. In addition to eliminating the infection, it protects the _contaminated tooth from future bacterial invasions.  Neglecting to have a root canal properly cleaned of the bacterial infection could lead to the formation of an abscess or more serious infection.

The damage to a tooth’s nerve and pulp can be attributed to a number of causes such as:

·         chips or cracks in the tooth

·         facial trauma

·         infection, inflammation, and irritation caused by tooth decay

·         large fillings

·         severe grinding and / or clenching one's teeth

When the nerve tissue and pulp within a tooth gets damaged bacteria starts multiplying inside the pulp chamber and the pulp begins to break down.  This bacteria as well as any other debris can lead to abscessing or an infection.

Sometimes, the signs and symptoms indicating the need for root canal (endodontic) therapy are not always apparent.  But when they are, this might include one or more of the following:

      Toothache pain associated with bite pressure or chewing

·         Darkening or discoloration of the affected tooth

·         Gum swelling and tenderness

·         Increased and prolonged pain or sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures

·         Persistent or recurring gum pimples

Endodontic therapy is successful 95% of the time and most teeth that are treated with this type of procedure could last the rest of the person’s life.  The final step in the process involves the restoring the tooth with a crown or a filling.

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