Root Canals in San Jose
Signs That You Need a Root Canal
- Your tooth hurts when you bite down on it, touch it or push on it
- Your tooth is sensitive to heat
- Your tooth is sensitive to cold for more than a couple of seconds
- There is swelling near the tooth
- Your tooth is discolored (whether it hurts or not)
- Your tooth is broken
If you have an infection of the pulp, you may not feel any pain at first.
But if it is not treated, the infection will cause pain and swelling.
In some cases, an abscess will form. At Comfort Dental, root canal treatments
are performed with advanced techniques and materials, making them far
more comfortable and the treatment time much faster. After root canal
treatment is complete, we will usually place a crown on your tooth to
safeguard against fracture.
Why would you need a root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is needed for two main reasons.
- The first is infection. An untreated cavity is a common cause of pulp infection.
The decay erodes the enamel and dentin of the tooth until it reaches a
root canal. This allows bacteria to infect the pulp. Antibiotics can’t
get to infections inside teeth. The inflammation caused by the infection
reduces the blood supply to the tooth. The reduced blood supply also keeps
the pulp from healing.
- The second reason for a root canal is damage to the pulp that can’t
be fixed. Trauma or a fractured tooth can damage the pulp. So can a lot
of restoration, such as several fillings placed in the same tooth over
a period of time.
When the pulp is inflamed but not infected, it may heal on its own. We
may want see if this will happen before doing root canal treatment. If
the pulp remains inflamed, it can be painful and may lead to infection.
An infection in the pulp can affect bone around the tooth. This can cause
an abscess to form. The goal of root canal treatment is to save the tooth
by removing infected or damaged pulp, treating infection, and filling
the empty root canals with a material called gutta percha.
If root canal treatment is not done, an infected tooth may have to be extracted.
It is better to keep your natural teeth if you can. If a tooth is missing,
neighboring teeth can drift out of line. They also can be overstressed
from chewing. Keeping your natural teeth also helps you to avoid other
treatments, such as implants or bridges. Also, if you ignore an infected
or injured tooth the infection can spread to other parts of your body.
Having root canal treatment on a tooth does not mean that the tooth will
need to be pulled out in a few years. Once a tooth is treated, it almost
always will last the rest of your life.
The Length of Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment can be done in one or more visits. It depends on the
situation. An uncomplicated root canal treatment often can be completed
in one visit. Some teeth may be more difficult to treat because of where
they are in the mouth. Some teeth have more roots than other teeth. Treating
a tooth with many roots takes longer. Some teeth have curved root canals
that are difficult to find. If you have an infection, you will visit us
several times so that we can make sure the infection is gone. Once the
root canal treatment is finished we will cover the treated tooth with
a crown. The purpose of the crown is to prevent the tooth from breaking
in the future.