There are several reasons why a root canal would be indicated.
One example is if a cavity has been present in a tooth for too long. The bacteria from the cavity will eventually widen and enter the pulp at the center of the tooth. Once the nerve is infected, it and the cavity must be removed to prevent a worsening infection.
Another indication for a root canal is trauma. If a tooth has endured a traumatic event, the nerve of the tooth can slowly die, and the dead nerve tissue will turn necrotic and become infected. A root canal will then be necessary to remove the nerve.
Additionally, a tooth may need a root canal due to a fracture. The fracture will extend into the nerve of the tooth and cause pain, especially while chewing and biting. A root canal must be performed to remove the fracture and the nerve.
Extreme pain and/or swelling are also indicators that a root canal may be needed. Dr. Cettie believes conservative, preventative treatment can help avoid this type of pain from occurring. Conversely, some patients may not be experiencing any pain and still need a root canal. Our bodies are designed to fight off infection and pain and our teeth are no different, they guard the nerve from bacteria and cavities. Dr. Cettie will show you radiographs and intra-oral pictures to show why a root canal might be the best treatment option for you to prevent extreme pain or a worsening infection.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is the removal of the infected nerve tissue of the tooth. First the cavity or fracture is removed, the nerve and nerve canals are then cleaned out with special instruments and filled with a material to seals off the canals. Either a crown or filling will be needed after a root canal to keep the tooth strong.Dr. Cettie uses the most advanced techniques and tools such as 3D CBCT imaging to ensure the best chance of success for this procedure. Often, there is a fear factor associated with a root canal. Dr. Cettie prides himself in delivering the best patient care to help change this stigma and is available to answer any of your questions or concerns.