The root canal procedure has a bad reputation that is largely undeserved. When a tooth requires this type of treatment, it’s usually because the only other option is to extract it. By treating the tooth and removing the damaged and infected tissue inside it, you can keep a usable tooth and prevent the long-term problems that can occur as a result of tooth loss.
Why Would I Need a Root Canal Procedure?
The root canal is technically a part of your tooth. It’s a cavity inside the crown of the tooth, extending into the roots. Inside this cavity is all the soft tissue that helps keep your tooth alive. This includes nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. Normally, the pulp is protected by the harder outer tooth layers, which are the dentin and the outer enamel. However, damage or severe decay can allow bacteria to enter the root canal, where it can cause an infection in the pulp.
If you have developed a problem with the tooth pulp, you might require a root canal procedure. This means your dentist removes all the infected tissue inside your tooth to keep the infection from spreading. Because the root canal extends into the roots, bacteria can spread through the holes in the ends of the roots into the jawbone, facial bones, or into your sinuses. Having the tooth treated eliminates this risk and allows you to keep your tooth.
What is a Root Canal Procedure?
A root canal procedure is usually performed by an endodontist—a dentist who specializes in treatment of the tooth pulp. The dentist uses special tools designed to reach down into the tooth’s interior. During the procedure, the dentist drills a hole in the tooth, then uses these files to remove all the soft tissue from the tooth. The interior is smoothed down and sterilized. After all the tissue is removed, the tooth is filled with a special resin, then the hole is treated with a filling and the full tooth is fitted with a dental crown so your tooth is sturdy and usable.
If you have more questions regarding root canals, contact our office and discuss any concerns you may have with our caring team.