A root canal is a procedure used to save a decayed or infected tooth. The entire procedure will remove the bacteria or infection and repair the tooth so that it does not get reinfected. Root canals are a safe and effective way to save a tooth and are relatively painless.
If you have severe pain when eating, lingering sensitivity to cold or hot, swollen gums, or darkening of gums this could be a sign that your tooth is infected. In order to remove the infection, your dentist will remove the center of the tooth which is known as the pulp. The center of the tooth holds the nerve, blood vessels and connective tissue of the tooth, however, it is not important to the function of a fully developed tooth.
Root canals perform an important function for your overall health:
- It stops the infection from spreading to neighboring teeth
- By saving the tooth, it eliminates the problems that missing teeth can cause-for both the appearance and function of your smile.
- Infected teeth that are left untreated can cause overall health problems from heart disease to diabetes.