Has your dentist recommended that you receive root canal therapy? Many people associate needing root canal treatment with painful toothaches. Although a toothache is often a sign of a compromised root canal, toothaches are not the only indication that endodontic care might is necessary.
If you have been recommended for root canal therapy, it is because the health of your tooth is at stake. This might be due to a deep cavity or crack in a tooth. It could also be a preventive measure prior to placing an extensive restoration in a badly weakened tooth.
When determining the course of a person’s treatment, dental professionals rely on advanced diagnostics. Digital X-rays, for example, are great for evaluating the health of the root structures of teeth. These images can reveal whether a root canal has been affected by oral disease or a dental injury.
What is the root canal?
The term “root canal” actually refers to a part of a tooth’s structure rather than a procedure. The root canal is a chambered area within the roots of a tooth and just at the base of a tooth’s crown. This chamber contains dental pulp (cellular material) and nerve endings. Root canals inside healthy teeth are not exposed to bacteria or debris from food particles. Unfortunately, if a tooth is badly damaged by something like a deep crack or an advanced, untreated cavity, the root canal can become exposed to debris that will ultimately inflame and infect the nerve endings of a tooth.
Root canal therapy or “root canal treatment” are terms for endodontic procedures. Endodontics involves specific treatment protocols that address issues that develop within a tooth’s internal structure. If a root canal is infected, a tooth must be professionally treated or patients risk losing their biologic tooth. Without timely treatment, an infected root canal can advance into an abscess and become so diseased that it cannot be saved with restorative treatments alone.
Is root canal treatment uncomfortable?
Root canal therapy is actually not as uncomfortable as some might think. Most people liken the sensations they feel during endodontic treatment to receiving a filling. This is because our practice utilizes anesthetics like a local injectable and nitrous oxide to ensure comfort.
For more information or to schedule a visit, contact the office of Dr. Daniel Bush today.