Root Canal Therapy is a common and highly predictable way to save a tooth with a large cavity, tooth ache, severe structural damage and/or infection. Root Canals are necessary when there is a cavity or damage that extends the deepest tissue of the tooth which is called the pulp. A tooth’s pulp tissue consists of the tooth’s nerve and blood vessels. A tooth’s pulpal tissue is the centralized tissue of the tooth protected by dentin and enamel.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a procedure in which the dentist removes the infected or inflamed pulp tissue in a tooth. The pulp tissue starts in the crown of the tooth and extends down the root in the form of a canal, hence the name “root canal.” A tooth may have one, two, three, four and occasionally more than four root canals within a single tooth. Every root canal has a unique shape, often with twists and turns as they progress through the tooth’s root.
During root canal therapy, it is important that the pulpal tissue is completely removed from all root canals, disinfected and well-sealed. We use isolation techniques such as rubber dams to insure the bacteria from your mouth does not contaminate the disinfected root canal system during treatment. After the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, it is sealed with a rubber material called “gutta percha” and a biocompatible sealer. Once a root canal has been completed the tooth is now non-vital (no longer has nerves and blood vessels) and can predictably be saved. Root canal therapy is often a long term solution to save a highly compromised tooth.
Root canal therapy is performed after a tooth has been hurting, infected or severely broken down. Often times a large portion of the tooth’s structure is missing. It is extremely important to restore a tooth which has received a root canal with a strong, long lasting restoration like a crown. With our advanced technology it is often times possible to perform a root canal, build up and a final crown in the same appointment!
I have heard root canals hurt.
Almost all root canal therapy can be done with minimal pain or discomfort. The pain that you may be experiencing from a tooth ache can be RELIEVED by having a root canal performed. Root canal therapy is performed under liberal amounts of local anesthetics and often times in conjunction with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drug therapy. Due to our compassionate and comprehensive care, our patients regularly report little to no discomfort or pain during and after root canal therapy.
If you have a large cavity, tooth ache, broken tooth and/or dental infection, root canal therapy is often the only way we can save your tooth. Root canal therapy is highly predictable and is a preferable option than the alternative treatment – removing the tooth.