“Root canal” is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. A root canal treatment removes tissue and pulp from an infected tooth. The pulp is the soft area within the root canal and the tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal.

A root canal treatment is a procedure used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. During the root canal treatment, the nerve and pulp are removed by our dentist and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. (The tooth’s nerve is not vitally important for the tooth’s health after the tooth has emerged through the gums and will not affect the day-to-day function of the tooth.)

When a tooth’s nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria multiplies within the pulp chamber. This can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. An infection in the root canal of a tooth can result in:

  • Swelling that can spread to other areas of the face, neck or head.
  • Bone loss around the tip of the root.
  • Drainage problems extending outward from the root. A hole through the side of the tooth can cause drainage to leak into the gums or the cheek, damaging the skin.

How do you know if your tooth needs root canal treatment?

If you are frequently in pain or have signs of infection and swelling, there is likely a problem. Additionally, if you notice dark tooth color, soft tissue changes and asymmetry, please call us at 717-960-9969. Make an appointment with Dr. Anthony Pfleger to isolate the infection with a root canal treatment in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.