Many people have heard of root canal treatment but don’t know exactly what the procedure entails and why it is necessary. This procedure is endodontic in nature, meaning that it treats the inside of a tooth. The truth about root canal therapy is that this procedure can literally save a tooth from having to be surgically removed. Treating infected root canals allows patients to retain their natural tooth structure without reducing oral function or comfort. Most of the time, if a patient requires endodontic therapy, their root canal is infected. Since this part of the tooth contains nerve endings, the infection can produce significant daily discomfort. Receiving endodontic care not only prevents the need for extraction, it prevents other oral health conditions such as abscesses.
What is inside root canals?
Root canals are located deep inside teeth. This area is a hollowed section of the tooth that contains dental pulp and nerve endings. If a tooth is cracked or badly decayed, the root canal can become infected when exposed to harmful oral bacteria. An infected root canal must be treated or the infection will spread to other parts of the mouth and eventually kill the tooth, which is a living structure.
How are infected root canals treated?
Root canals are treated by removing the infected materials inside the tooth. This means that our dentists will access the innermost areas of a tooth with tiny tools and gently extract the dental pulp and nerve endings. By removing this infected material, patients will no longer suffer with significant pain and toothaches. Once the root canal is cleaned and its infected structure is removed, the inside of the tooth is then sealed with a rubber-like compound that will prevent future problems.
Is a restoration necessary after root canal therapy?
Sometimes a restoration is needed after endodontic therapy, especially if the external structure of the tooth is damaged. Common restorations after root canal treatment are dental crowns and fillings.
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