A root canal is a treatment that restores an infected tooth. At Perfect Smiles Dental of Pleasant Hill, Nupur Gupta, DDS, has extensive experience in modern root canal procedures and has helped many residents of Pleasant Hill, California, avoid losing an infected tooth. If you have questions or concerns about root canals, call the office to book a one-on-one consultation. Online scheduling is also available and takes just moments to book your appointment day and time that is convenient for you.
Root Canals Q & A
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a procedure that treats an infection in the pulp of your tooth. This soft tissue fills the inner chamber of your tooth and is filled with nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues.
Your pulp plays a vital role in nourishing your teeth while they are growing, but once they are fully developed the pulp is no longer necessary. That’s why it can be removed during a root canal, and your tooth will still be healthy and strong.
What causes infected tooth pulp?
When bacteria enters your tooth pulp and begins to multiply, an infection is present. There are many ways this can occur.
Cavities or advanced decay can allow bacteria to move past the hard layers of enamel and dentin protecting your pulp. A fractured or cracked tooth also creates an opportunity for bacteria to invade.
Repetitive trauma to your teeth, such as grinding while you sleep or jaw misalignment can also lead to a pulp infection. In come cases, even a traumatic impact to a tooth can lead to an infection.
How do I know if I might need a root canal?
Moderate to severe tooth pain is the primary sign that you might need a root canal. Some other indications of an infected tooth include:
- Pain that worsens when you bite down or chew
- Sensitivity to heat or cold, even after the source is removed
- Swollen gums
- Dark gum tissue
- Pimple-like sores on your gums
- Chipped or cracked tooth
If you notice these changes, call the office to book a visit. Left alone, an infected tooth will not heal, and symptoms will eventually worsen.
What happens during a root canal?
The process begins with a numbing injection to help you remain comfortable throughout the procedure. Dr. Gupta creates a small opening to gain access to the inner chamber of your tooth.
She then removes all traces of pulp from the chamber and the canals of your tooth’s roots. Laser technology ensures that virtually all bacteria is removed. Once the chamber is cleaned and disinfected, a special material called gutta-percha is used to fill the chamber.
A small filling closes the access hole, and a custom crown is prepared to fully cover the treated tooth. Once your new crown is cemented into place, your restoration is complete and your tooth will look and function normally.
If you’d like to learn more about root canals, call the office today or book an appointment online.