A toothache can indicate serious issues with the inside of a tooth, putting it in jeopardy of needing extraction. When the veins, nerves, and other soft material inside of a tooth becomes inflamed or infected, it can cause an abscess at the tip of the tooth, bone loss, or allow the infection to spread to other parts of your body. Root canal therapy, sometimes called endodontic therapy, can alleviate the pain and save the tooth.
What Happens During Root Canal Therapy?
In order to save the tooth, the damaged nerve and other tissues must be removed from inside the tooth. After the tooth is numbed, a small hole will be drilled to allow access to the pulp chamber. The dead or dying tissue will be removed, and the inside of the tooth cleaned out. To prevent a future infection, the root canal will be shaped and then filled with a biocompatible material, usually a substance called “gutta percha” that is similar to rubber. Afterward, the hole will be filled. Usually a crown is placed over the tooth afterward to protect it from future damage.
Does It Hurt?
During your treatment, the area being treated will be numbed as it would be for a filling or any other procedure. While the inflamed pulp of a tooth can cause you a lot of pain, you should not feel anything during the procedure. Root canal therapy stops pain, rather than causing it. The area around the tooth may be sensitive for a few days after the procedure, but medication can be prescribed to reduce the inflammation.
If you have a toothache, it is important to see a dentist right away. Pain relievers may help temporarily, but left untreated, the damage may continue to the point that your tooth will need to be extracted, and could cause other serious health issues. This is a serious concern and should never be ignored.
Dr. Mashkouri is a general dentist who performs root canal therapy for patients in Los Angeles and Westwood. To make an appointment for a consultation, call the Lotus Family Dental office at (310) 776-6441 today.