This used to be a major portion of my practice. However, due to the availability of implants, root canals are becoming less frequent.
Symptoms of infection within a tooth include extreme sensitivity to heat and cold, pain on chewing, and/or swelling of gum tissue at the base of the tooth.
Root canal involves the removal of the pulp of the tooth, which includes blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues.
To make a recommendation, I look at the bone structure, checking the movement of the tooth and the support it’s getting from the jawbone. I consider what would be left after the decay is removed.
Only if survival of the tooth is questionable, or if its long-term viability seems unlikely do I advise patients to have an implant made. Otherwise, I suggest proceeding with the root canal treatment.
That filling is called a retrograde filling. I do some. But I also feel that the process sometimes is too complex—e.g., the filling is too close to a nerve or a sinus cavity. If I’m concerned about possible complications, I refer the patient to a specialist.