What Are Root Canals?
Root canals are tiny passageways that branch off from beneath the top of the tooth, coursing their way vertically downward, until they reach the tip of the root.
All teeth have between one and four root canals.
Many tooth problems involve infections that spread to the pulp, which is the inner chamber of the tooth containing blood vessels, nerves and other tissues. When the infection becomes worse, it can begin affecting the roots. A traumatic injury to a tooth can also compromise the pulp, leading to similar problems.
A diseased inner tooth brings a host of problems; pain and sensitivity are some of the first indications of a problem; but inside, a spreading infection can cause small pockets of pus to develop, leading to an abscess.
Root canal therapy is a remarkable treatment with a very high rate of success, and involves removing the diseased tissue, halting the spread of infection and restoring the healthy portion of the tooth. In fact, root canal therapy is designed to save a problem tooth; before the procedure was developed and gained acceptance, the only alternative for treating a diseased tooth was extraction.
Saving a Tooth with Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy attempts to preserve the existing tooth so that it does not need to be replaced. A root canal is needed when the pulp beneath the tooth becomes infected or inflamed due to tooth decay, a cracked or chipped tooth, having multiple procedures performed on the same tooth, or the occurrence of any kind of trauma to that tooth. Left untreated, pulp with inflammation or infection can result in the formation of an access below the tooth root.
The procedure for a root canal is somewhat similar to that for filling a cavity. Root canal therapy usually entails one to three visits. During the first visit, a small hole is drilled through the top of the tooth and into the inner chamber. Diseased tissue is removed, the inner chamber cleansed and disinfected, and the tiny canals reshaped. The cleansed chamber and canals are filled with an elastic material and medication designed to prevent infection. If necessary, the drilled hole is temporarily filled until a permanent seal is made with a crown.
Most patients who have root canal experience little or no discomfort or pain, and enjoy a restored tooth that can last almost as long as its healthy original.
According to the American Association of Endodontists, there are several advantages to undergoing root canal therapy. These include protecting surrounding teeth against strain or excessive wear, maintaining a natural appearance, improved chewing efficiency and a return to being able to bite into foods with normal force. Before a root canal, a damaged tooth can inhibit an infected tooth’s ability to function normally.
Do you need root canal therapy?
Call The Martin Dental Center for Oral Health and Aesthetics
in Roswell, GA 770-993-7424 for more information today!