As our Fort Collins dental team will discuss with you, a root canal is a form of treatment which is mainly used to restore and save a tooth which has severely decayed or developed an infection. The root canal process involves the removal of the nerve as well as the pulp, then properly cleaning the area, and finally sealing it back up. Without treatment, the tissue around the tooth can become infected and may even lead to the formation of abscesses. The Fort Collins dental staff at Shore’s often perform root canals. Root canal is a word used to define the normal cavity within the middle part of the tooth. The soft area inside the root canal is referred to as the pulp. Inside the root canal is also where the nerve of the tooth lies. The function of the nerve within a tooth is not so vital when it comes to the portion of the tooth which protrudes from the gum. The only role of a root canal is sensory which helps to offer a sense of hot or cold. It is therefore important to note that whether the nerve is there or not, the overall functioning of the tooth is not affected in any way.

The need for the removal of tooth pulp:

When the tooth’s pulp is damaged it disintegrates and causes the increase of bacteria inside the pulp. It is through the presence of bacteria and any other decomposed remains that the tooth becomes infected or abscessed. An abscess is best defined as a pocket filled with pus found at the end of a root of any tooth and it occurs when this infection extends beyond the end of the root. Other than the abscess, an infected root canal is known to cause:

  • Swelling extending to the neck, face or head
  • The loss of the bone located all across the root
  • Drainage issues originating from the root. A hole may develop on the side of the tooth with the drainage directed through the gums or the cheek going into the skin.

Signs that a root canal is required:

Our Fort Collins dental staff understands that occasionally no symptoms present themselves. However, some of the common signs that will show a clear indication that a person is in need of this procedure are:

  • Extreme pain of the tooth when chewing or when any form of pressure is applied
  • Persistent sensitivity or pain from the tooth when exposed to hot or cold temperatures
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Swelling and inflammation of the gums found around the tooth
  • Gums developing a persistent pimple

This particular procedure is usually done by a highly skilled dentist and requires multiple visits for it to be completed. It is also important to consult with your dentist since we are in a better position to advise you on the best possible way to handle this issue. Our Fort Collins dental staff at Shore’s Family Dentistry will be more than happy to answer all of your root canal questions.

Tooth with a healthy root.

When decay or damage goes untreated it can result in an infection to the pulp chamber of the tooth

After creating a small opening, very small instruments are used to clean and shape the root canal spaces.

The cleaned spaces are filled with a biocompatible material and specialized cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals.