The root canal is a hollow portion of a tooth, on the inside where it can’t be seen. Inside this canal is a group of tissues containing nerves that give the tooth sensation, and blood vessels that feed and nourish the tooth. There is also dental pulp, which is basically a mixture of special cells that support the dentin inside a tooth, the layer just beneath the enamel.
If the inside of a tooth becomes infected or otherwise damaged, it’s not always visible from the outside. When the discomfort becomes noticeable, most patients schedule to visit a dentist and after an assessment. The dentist may recommend root canal therapy, also known as endodontic therapy because it deals with the inside part of the tooth. Some dentists can do the treatment right in their office, but others refer patients to a specialist if the case is difficult or if the dentist isn’t qualified to do the procedure alone.
When the inside of the tooth becomes infected, the infection can spread to the gums or jawbone, and if left untreated the tooth may require extraction. Dentists perform root canal therapy to save the tooth and improve comfort, causing as little change in the mouth as possible to ensure the continued natural function. Depending on the circumstances, the treatment often requires a porcelain crown to cover the tooth, but some cases only need a composite tooth-colored filling.
With advances in dentistry, modern root canal therapy is nothing to fear. In fact, the procedure is more like having a typical filling done. The infected portion of the tooth is filed with special filing tools designed for root canal work. The inner tissue is removed and the tooth is reinforced, filled, and crowned. This procedure is usually done with local anesthetic, such as Novocain, and any discomfort experienced afterward is managed successfully with ibuprofen or similar anti-inflammatory pain medication.
The use of endodontic therapy helps preserve natural teeth, keep the smile and appearance consistent, maintain patient comfort and functional support within the mouth and jaws, and protect the other teeth around the affected tooth. A very successful approach to treating infected or damaged teeth, root canal therapy can quickly and efficiently improve overall comfort. For more information about root canal therapy and other endodontic options, contact our skilled dentistry team by calling 817-465-0355 today!