When small areas of decay develop in the outer layers of a tooth, the tooth can usually be restored by removing the decay and sealing the tooth with a dental filling. In some cases, though, extraction is necessary when extensive decay affects the innermost layer of pulp. However, it is possible to preserve damaged teeth and save your smile with root canal treatment. At our office in Columbia, SC, Dr. Joel Johnson can determine if you need a root canal.
Signs You Need a Root Canal
A toothache can be an indication that you have a cavity and need a filling. If the toothache is accompanied by other symptoms, it is possible you need a root canal. Signs and symptoms that root canal treatment might be needed include:
- A severe or persistent toothache
- Formation of an abscess in the gums
- Darkening or discoloration of the affected tooth
- Pain or sensitivity when biting and chewing food
- Ongoing sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
- Tenderness or swelling of the gums near the affected tooth
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment can save your smile when teeth are affected by severe infection or decay. The inner portion of a tooth is comprised of a soft material called pulp, which extends from the center of the tooth down through the canals in the root. If the pulp material becomes infected or damaged by decay, the tooth can become too weak and sensitive to perform normal biting and chewing functions. Left untreated, the tooth could eventually need to be pulled out.
Root canal treatment makes it possible to preserve damaged teeth so extraction can be avoided. Root canal treatment drives away decay, strengthens the tooth, and restores normal functioning. During the root canal procedure, the affected pulp is removed and the tooth is cleaned out. The tooth is then filled and sealed with dental filling. Additionally, a crown can be placed over the tooth to further strengthen and protect it. Afterward, the tooth will be strong enough to resume normal functions again.
Root canal treatment can save your smile by preserving, strengthening, and restoring teeth affected by severe decay or infection. To learn more about how root canal treatment can help you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Johnson by calling our office in Columbia at (803) 788-2555.