A root canal procedure can help save a tooth that is badly damaged, decayed, or severely infected. It is a fairly common procedure and is not as difficult as it is often assumed to be. This procedure will keep the tooth intact and usable when it otherwise might have had to be extracted.
Reasons for Root Canals
The term “root canal” refers to the tooth’s interior, where nerve and connective tissues, called the pulp, fill an open space. This portion of the tooth provides sensation, so you can tell when food is hot or cold and sense how hard you’re biting down. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating this part of your tooth. The most common procedure performed by an endodontist is the root canal procedure.
Root canals are necessary when the tooth’s interior has been compromised and bacteria has entered the pulp, causing inflammation or infection. Causes can include:
- Cracks in teeth, particularly if they’ve already been restored with a filling
- Severe decay that eats through the enamel and dentin into the pulp
- Trauma that cracks or breaks off the tooth
When the tooth’s interior is damaged, you can experience extreme sensitivity and strong discomfort, making it difficult to bite, chew, or talk. The tooth should be evaluated by a dentist to see if a root canal will help you keep the tooth, or if an extraction is necessary.
The Root Canal Procedure
The root canal procedure has an undeserved reputation for being difficult and uncomfortable. In truth, however, it is similar to having a tooth filled. The endodontist or dentist drills a hole in the tooth and then uses files of varying sizes to remove the infected tissue. The tooth’s interior is then sanitized, and the pulp is replaced with a sterile filler. To strengthen the tooth, a dental crown is applied and the procedure is finished. Your tooth will be completely functional and you will no longer experience discomfort.
If you’re concerned that you may need a root canal, call the office of Dr. Bush today to schedule your appointment and find relief as soon as possible.