900 Easton Ave., Suite 31, Somerset, NJ 08873

When Is a Root Canal Needed?

Teeth pain results from several possible sources – gum disease, tooth decay and injury. However, when the pain emanates from an infection at the tooth’s root system, a root canal may be advised.

How a root canal reduces pain

A root canal involves removing infected tooth pulp and tissue from a tooth’s interior and also from the nerve passages and blood vessels. When the interior pulp becomes infected, it attacks the nerves and soft tissue, causing further tooth decay and even damage to one’s mouth structure. Infected pulp must be removed only by a skilled professional.

A root canal may be needed if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Pain when eating or biting down on the affected area;
  • Painful reaction to temperature change on your teeth, including hot or cold substances;
  • Darkened tooth;
  • Bumps, swelling and tenderness in the affected area.

The root canal procedure requires eliminating infected material from the root system of the tooth and from the threatened or damaged nerve. A permanent crown is fitted over the remaining tooth to protect it from further damage.

The steps to relief

The first step is to assess the infection with x-rays or digital imaging. During the first visit, patients are usually administered a local anesthetic. The tooth is cleaned of decay and infection through a small opening at the top. A temporary crown is fitted on the tooth until the permanent one, molded specifically for your mouth, is delivered.

Until the final crown is in place, it’s wise to avoid chewing actively on the temporary crown. This prevents reinfection or further damage to the tooth if the temporary is dislodged. In the first few days, there may be some sensitivity and tenderness. This treated with oral pain medication. Most patients recover quickly.

If you have an infected tooth and want to avoid extraction, contact our office.