A root canal, or endodontics, is the process of removing the nerves from the roots of a tooth. A root canal is often necessary to save an infected tooth. If an infected tooth is left alone for a long period of time, an abscess can form. An abscess will show up on an x-ray as a dark spot below the apex of the root. This is actually bone loss in the jaw. It is very important to catch this problem before it deteriorates too far. If the canals are unusually curved or extremely small, the dentist may refer you to an “endodontist”, a dentist who specialized in root canal therapy.
Why do I need a root canal?
There are a number of reasons why one of your teeth may need a root canal. These include but are not limited to, a very deep cavity that extends into the nerve, a trauma to the tooth that exposes the nerve, or a crack in the tooth that extends into the nerve of the tooth.
Signs and Symptoms
• Moderate to severe lingering toothache pain when drinking hot or cold liquids or foods.
• Moderate to severe pain when biting on a tooth
• Sensitivity to tapping or pressure on the tooth
• Toothache that wakes you up in the middle of the night
• A pimple on your gum that may release pus or blood
• Radiating pain from one area of the mouth to another