A root canal is a procedure that involves removing infected or inflamed soft tissue (also known as dental pulp) from the inside of a tooth. If left untreated, inflamed or infected dental pulp can lead to more serious dental problems, including abscess. Dental pulp can become infected or inflamed for several reasons, including:
- cracks or chips in the enamel
- traumatic injury to the tooth
- multiple procedures on the tooth
Common signs of infected or inflamed dental pulp include pain, discomfort and severe sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages. Some patients may also experience tooth discoloration or swelling. Other patients do not experience any visible symptoms at all. Dr. Spaniel can determine if a problem is present and whether it can be treated with a root canal upon examining your teeth and taking X-rays. For molars and some anterior teeth, Dr. Spaniel may refer you to an endodontist and work with them to design a comprehensive treatment plan to restore your tooth back to proper health and function.