Why Does the Pulp/Nerve Need to Be Removed?
When nerve tissue or dental pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria begin
to invade within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other decayed debris can
cause an infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that
forms at the end of the roots of the tooth. An abscess occurs when the infection
spreads all the way past the ends of the roots of the tooth. In addition to
an abscess, an infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause:
• Swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head
• Bone loss around the tip of the root
• Drainage problems extending outward from the root. A hole can occur through
the side of the tooth with drainage into the gums or through the cheek with drainage
into the skin
What Damages a Tooth's Nerve and Dental Pulp in the First Place?
Nerve and dental pulp can become irritated, inflamed and infected due to deep
decay, large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.
What Are the Signs that a Root Canal Is Needed?
Sometimes no symptoms are present. However, signs to look for include:
• Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure
• Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures (after the hot
or cold object has been removed)
• Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth
• Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
• A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
Are there any alternatives to a Root Canal?
Saving your natural teeth is the very best option, if possible. They allow you
to eat a wide variety of foods necessary to maintain proper nutrition, so the
root canal procedure is your treatment of choice.
The only alternative to a root canal procedure is having the tooth extracted
and replaced with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture to restore
chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. Definitely, dental
bridge and implant are more expensive than saving that tooth by root canal treatment.