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When Is a Root Canal Needed?

A root canal might be needed if you are experiencing tooth pain, sensitivity, or other symptoms. Root canal therapy is somewhat similar to having a cavity filled and involves removing diseased tissue deep inside the tooth and root canals. Afterward, the affected tooth will be stronger, and biting and chewing functions can resume without pain. Dr. Clark Wright, the highly skilled dentist at our office in Venice, FL, can root canal therapy is needed for your tooth.


Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is needed when an infection reaches the soft pulp tissue at the center of a tooth. That same pulp tissue also extends down into the canals of the root, which means the infection can spread there as well. The purpose of root canal therapy is to strengthen and restore an infected tooth by removing the diseased pulp and stopping the infection from spreading. In the past, the primary treatment for severely infected teeth was pulling them out. Root canal therapy can help you avoid extraction.

The procedure for performing root canal therapy is similar to filling a cavity. After numbing the area around the infected tooth, a small hole is drilled through the top of the tooth and down into the inner chamber where the pulp tissue is located. Next, all the diseased tissue is removed from inside the tooth and root. Then the inner chamber and canals of the tooth are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Finally, medication is applied to prevent infection and a biocompatible, plastic material is used to fill the tooth.

In most cases, a custom dental crown will be placed over the treated tooth to further strengthen and protect it. After root canal therapy, pain and sensitivity caused by the infection will diminish and normal functioning will be restored. The experienced dentist at our practice in Venice, FL, can determine if root canal therapy can save your infected tooth.


Signs a Root Canal is Needed

The only way to know for sure if you need a root canal is to schedule an oral exam with a dentist who can diagnose the exact problem. However, several symptoms can develop when a tooth is severely infected that can be an indication that a root canal is needed. Symptoms include:


  • Sharp pain when biting into foods
  • A severe or persistent toothache
  • Lingering pain after eating hot or cold foods
  • A feeling of constant pressure or pain in the mouth
  • Gum swelling and sensitivity near the affected tooth
  • Darkening or discoloration of the affected tooth
  • Development of a periodontal abscess


Root canal therapy can save a severely infected tooth and help you avoid extraction. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Wright to find out if you need a root canal by calling our office in Venice, FL, at (941) 493-5923.

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