Do I Need a Root Canal?

Root Canal DiagramA complete set of teeth benefits your looks and your oral function. If you have a tooth compromised by injury, decay, malformation or infection, you could keep it and help it be healthy once again. Your dentist, Dr. James Zimmerman, performs many root canal treatments in his Woodland office. Designed to save a sick tooth, root canal therapy removes damaged interior pulp, leaving the hard structure intact, supported and beautified. Do you need a root canal?

Save it or pull it?

That's a question only you and Dr. Zimmerman can answer. However, when he examines and X-rays the tooth in question, he'll recommend restoration whenever possible.

Tooth extraction causes numerous problems--structural, functional and aesthetic, but root canal therapy heals, seals and saves compromised teeth.

Signs you need a root canal

Pain and long-lasting dental sensitivity to heat are cold are just two of them. Other includes:

  • A noticeable crack or chip
  • Darkened tooth enamel
  • A reddened pimple on the gums near the affected tooth
  • A bad taste in your mouth (drainage) and persistent bad breath
  • Multiple or damaged fillings
  • Swelling of the gums, jaw and even the airway (this is a medical emergency and warrants a trip to the hospital emergency room)

If you have these symptoms, book an appointment with your Woodland dentist right away. That tooth needs attention.

Having a root canal

Root canal therapy (also called endodontic therapy) removes damaged interior pulp and cleans, disinfects and smooths the central chamber and slender passageways inside each root. Dr. Zimmerman adds a protective putty called gutta-percha to the treated roots and covers the tooth with a temporary filling. These steps in root canal treatment are performed with the benefit of local anesthetic and a protective dam installed around the tooth to avoid the spread of bacteria.

At the next appointment, Dr. Zimmerman removes the temporary restoration and bonds a realistic porcelain crown over the tooth. The crown finishes the root canal procedure, allowing the patient to enjoy the appearance and utility of a truly healthy tooth.

Natural teeth are best

Root canal therapy saves literally millions of teeth annually, says the American Association of Endodontists. Yours could be one of them. Call Dr. Zimmerman's office team today if you have symptoms of oral injury or infection, and get the help you need: (530) 661-1155.