What Is A Root Canal? And Do I Need One?

If you have had a decayed tooth and visited the dentist, they may have told you that you need a root canal. So, what exactly is a root canal?

What is a root canal? 

According to WebMD, a root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form. 

Although a root canal procedure is done to repair the tooth, it does not fully restore the appearance and function of the tooth. You may still need to get a crown or similar dental appliance to completely restore the tooth's appearance and function.

You may need a root canal if...

There are several circumstances that may cause one to need a root canal procedure. Most commonly, you may need a root canal if you have a broken or cracked tooth from a fall or other injury, a deep cavity or decay, or dental issues from a previous filling.

Additionally, if you experience these issues, you may need a root canal: 

    - Severe pain while chewing or biting

    - Pimples on the gums

    - Cracked or chipped tooth

    - Swollen or tender gums

    - Discolored tooth, tooth decay and/or darkening of the gums

 

The Root Canal Procedure