Root canal treatment is recommended when a diseased or damaged tooth jeopardizes a person’s oral health. When teeth become infected internally, the infection within them can spread to the bone, gingiva, and adjacent teeth. Root canal treatment can literally save a person’s tooth from the need for extraction. It can also preserve oral health and quality of life.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is actually a part of a tooth’s anatomy. It’s a hollowed, chambered area within the root system of a tooth that contains nerve endings and dental pulp (vital cellular material). When a tooth is healthy, the root canal is sealed off from oral debris and bacteria. A badly decayed tooth or one that is cracked, however, could have a root canal that is exposed to infection-causing bacteria.
How do I know my root canal is infected?
Toothaches are a common symptom of an infected root canal. Unfortunately, the presence of a toothache isn’t a reliable measure of whether a root canal is infected; and a toothache subsiding doesn’t mean a tooth is out of danger.
The only way to be certain if a tooth is infected is to visit a dentist. An oral healthcare provider will be able to tell if a tooth is infected after performing a physical examination that includes X-rays.
What does root canal treatment entail?
Root canal treatment is an endodontic procedure. This means that the interior structures of teeth are treated.
Treating a root canal begins with accessing the internal structure of teeth with tiny instruments, removing the infected material within a tooth, including the nerve endings, and irrigating the root canal chamber. Once the infected materials are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned, the root canal is sealed with a rubber-like compound to protect the inside of the tooth from further degradation.
Our patients report that the sensations they feel during root canal therapy aren’t much different to those when receiving a filling.
For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call our team at Westside Dental Group today.