The thought of a root canal normally frightens people. The good news is that root canals today not only provide dental pain relief, but an average of 17 million teeth per year are restored and saved because of root canals. Sounds better than a tooth extraction, right?
With the help of today’s technology, our office has state-of-the-art equipment, such as lasers and rotary instruments, which permit us to do a root canal in one office visit. This makes for a much better and simpler procedure than other offices, which can take up to 3 appointments for a root canal procedure.
What Exactly Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a procedure that is used to remove the diseased nerve tissue from inside the tooth. The narrow channels in the inner part of the tooth are cleaned out, and the canals are shaped and refined.
A tooth is made up of three main parts: a hard protective shell referred to as enamel, a softer and sensitive middle layer referred to as dentin and a soft tissue inner layer referred to as dental pulp. Dental pulp is composed of nerve tissue, lymph tissue and blood vessels, and is considered to be the vital part of a tooth. This is how you feel pain, and hot and cold sensitivity. If the dental pulp is traumatized – whether by a deep cavity, a fracture in the tooth that enters the pulp or a forceful blow to the face – the tooth begins to die and a root canal is often required in order to prevent or eliminate infection and prevent tooth loss.
A root canal involves disinfection of the tooth and the removal of all debris (nerve tissue,lymph tissue, blood tissue, bacteria and infection) from the pulp chamber and its canals. Once an affected tooth’s canals are sufficiently cleansed and shaped, they are filled with materials designed to prevent pain and infection from recurring.
Root Canal Signs
Certain signs may indicate that you have a diseased tooth or an infected nerve and therefore may need a root canal. These
signs include, but are not limited to the following:
- Minimal to severe pain.
- Tooth discoloration. Swelling and irritation in the surrounding gum tissue.
- Signs of infection visible on an xray.
- A tooth can become infected for several reasons, including tooth decay, or a crack/chip in the tooth. Failing restorations such as fillings and crowns can foster bacteria leakage into the pulp.
- Once infected, the nerve begins to die and the body’s inflammatory responses set in. The combination of infection and inflammation can cause significant pain with the end result of a toothache.
If you have any of the above symptoms, please call us to schedule your complimentary consultation, and allow us to help eradicate your pain quickly and easily! Remember to see your hygienist every 6 months for your routine checkup. We are able to keep an eye on your older fillings and check for decay to help prevent against root canals.