Root canal therapy is an endodontic procedure designed to treat pulp infections. While many patients believe this is a painful process, there is typically no more discomfort than getting a dental filling.
A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.
When inflammation and infection reach the tooth’s inner pulp, the result is root canal problems. Common causes are severe decay and dental trauma. Untreated cavities can allow bacteria to travel to the center of a tooth. Bacteria can also enter the pulp through a chipped or cracked tooth. Any opening in the enamel is a potential entryway for mouth bacteria to access the pulp.
Sometimes, dental restorations can damage the inner soft tissue of a tooth that will require endodontic treatment with root canal therapy. Extensive dental work (multiple fillings or other restorations) on the same tooth increases the likelihood of this type of injury. In rare instances, common treatments like orthodontics and placement of crowns eventually lead to pulp infections.
If an exam determines you need root canal therapy, there is nothing to fear. A root canal is a routine endodontic procedure that is highly effective at stopping pain and the spread of infection and saving teeth. This can all be achieved in a single visit. Root canal treatment begins much like the process of filling a cavity, with no more discomfort.
In some cases, patients don’t know they need root canal therapy until the infection has reached an advanced stage. Not everyone experiences pain right away. Severe and constant pain and pressure in the oral cavity, or gum sensitivity and swelling are clear indicators that you need to see your Kay's dentist right away. In addition, if you experience sharp pain when you bite down, that is a classic sign of a pulp infection. Pain that lingers after eating hot or cold foods is another sign of trouble. Contact our Kay's dental clinic near you in Kampala immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.