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What is a Root Canal?

While regularly brushing your teeth, flossing and using antiseptic mouthwash is a good way to ensure the health of your teeth, sometimes things happen that may require dental procedures. One such procedure is a root canal, but do you know exactly what's involved?

What it is
A root canal is a treatment designed to save and repair a tooth that's severely decayed or infected. More often than not, the soft tissue inside the teeth, including the blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, is inflamed or diseased – this is what is removed. The cavity is then cleaned and sealed.

When it's necessary
A root canal may be necessary if your tooth's pulp becomes inflamed or diseased, which can occur for a number of reasons. This includes serious decay, repeated dental procedures on the same tooth, large fillings, a crack or chip in a tooth or trauma to the face.

How you'll know when you might need one
Some symptoms that may indicate a root canal is necessary include severe pain when your tooth is under pressure, prolonged sensitivity, discoloration (usually darkening) of the tooth, gum swelling or a recurring pimple on the gums. However, not all people experience symptoms, so it's important to keep up your regular trips to the dentist.

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