Saving Your Teeth With a Root Canal
What happens when tooth decay reaches the inner part of your tooth, known as the dental pulp? Infection, pain, and eventual tooth loss can result, but there is a simple procedure that can save your tooth and your smile: a root canal. There is a lot of anxiety and fear surrounding root canals, but you should know that they are nowhere near as painful as the stories make them out to be. Not only that, but the long term benefits will leave you with a healthier, happier smile.
Your dental pulp is essential to the health of your teeth. Made up of blood vessels and soft tissue, the pulp keeps your teeth strong and secure, and when infection strikes, the dental pulp can become infected and even die. Trauma, disease, and tooth decay are all factors in acid-causing bacteria penetrating the enamel and dentin of a tooth, but a root canal can ease the resulting pain and sensitivity.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is the removal of the diseased pulp. The space inside your tooth is then cleaned and sealed off. Finally, a dental crown or cap is used to restore the tooth’s full function. Dr. Pinney may recommend a root canal if you have:
● Severe toothache that goes away and reappears ● Pain when chewing ● A dental abscess near the affected tooth ● Bad breath that does not go away ● Persistent tooth sensitivity ● Tooth discoloration
Sometimes, however, a diseased dental pulp shows no symptoms. If you visit the dentist regularly, your dentist may pick up the infection on a routine X-ray or test, so be sure to schedule a regular cleaning!
A root canal is one of the most common procedures in dental clinics. It is performed under local anesthesia and sedation for patients who are anxious or scared. First, your dentist will isolate and clean the tooth. Next, he will make a small hole in the tooth to remove the decayed pulp. The dentist will then clean the space thoroughly, including the tiny branching passages in the tooth roots called “root canals.” This is done using special instruments. Sometimes a laser and a microscope are used to increase magnification. The spaces are then filled with a rubbery material, and your dentist takes impressions or molds of the tooth. The impressions are used to design a crown to protect your tooth. On your next visit, the crown is cemented in place.
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