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What Is Root Canal?

A root canal is a procedure used to extract the soft interior of a tooth, or the pulp, because it has become inflamed or infected and to prevent further damage to the tooth. The soft interior pulp houses the tooth’s nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that helps it grow during development.

Once done with growth, the only purpose pulp serves is to help the tooth detect hot and cold. It can be safely removed without affecting the tooth’s long-term health or function.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

When that interior of the tooth, the pulp, becomes infected or inflamed. This could be caused by any number of reasons, such as deep tooth decay, repeated dental procedures, bad crowns or tooth cracks. A root canal is often the treatment.

A tooth with infected pulp can cause a severe abscess, or infection, in the tooth. Long-term effects of non-treatment can include bone loss in the jaw near the root tip, swelling in the mouth and face, and drainage.

Other signs pointing to the need for a root canal may include pain and tenderness near the tooth and excessive sensitivity to temperature extremes. Left alone, an infected pulp can lead to serious health implications, so it’s best to seek treatment early.

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