We try all measures available to save your original tooth, before we recommend extraction. A root canal treatment(also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is one option. It is made necessary when a cavity is allowed to reach all the way to this pulp. Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early. Sometimes deep restorations, a fracture, or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point of it needing root canal therapy. Once this occurs, the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. The infection can even weaken the entire immune system. This is dangerous, not to mention very painful. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain with biting pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes there will be no symptoms present and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.
A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. A core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.
Wisdom teeth typically emerge when a person is between the ages of 17 and 24. As wisdom teeth grow, they often become impacted, which means there is not enough space for them at the back of the mouth. When wisdom teeth are impacted, they can cause a variety of painful symptoms, including pain, swelling, infection, damage to adjacent teeth, and jaw stiffness.
Wisdom tooth extraction is a common, and often medically necessary, procedure. We work to make the procedure as comfortable and relaxing as possible, so there are no surprises.
See the video about wisdom tooth extractions.