Endodontic treatments, or root canals, are procedures done on teeth to treat them in situations of infection or pain. Tooth pain can be caused by a variety of reasons from decay to trauma, which can damage the nerve to the point where the nerve “dies”. In these situations where the nerve experiences irreversible nerve damage, a root canal is done to rid the tooth of the damaged nerve to in order to perserve the tooth. If left untreated, the nerve can become infected causing further pain, swelling, and damage to other anatomical structures like ligaments, bones or nerves and can even spread compromising the airway. Root canal procedures involve cleaning the root canal space and sealing it off. In many cases a crown is also needed to restore and protect the tooth that has been treated with a root canal.
Dental infections are very dangerous and must be treated immediately. Short term treatment may involve antibiotic medications but the “root” cause of the infection MUST be addressed or the infection can return causing further health problems. If you are noticing oral pain or swelling, DO NOT wait. Call the office immediately so the situation may be evaluated.