Root Canal Therapy
Have you heard of the term root canal? If you have, we’re not surprised. In the past, the term “root canal” was loathed by nearly everyone. It is a running joke in commercials, songs, sitcoms, and movies. Because so many people joke about it, people who have never had a root canal still don’t like them. One reason people have a fear and hatred about root canals is because they worry about pain. However, Brush & Floss Dental Center can give you some information about root canals, how we minimize pain during root canals, and why root canals can actually save your tooth.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Most of what we do on a daily basis to your teeth happens on the outside of your tooth. However, root canal therapy occurs on the inside of your tooth. The outside of your teeth is made with dentin, which is like a hard shell. But the inside of your tooth is called the tooth pulp. It consists of tissue, blood, and nerves. The tooth pulp is there to help your teeth continue to work properly, with enough blood flow to keep the tooth healthy. Your teeth also help your gums and jawbone to be healthy as well. The roots of your tooth connect the tooth pulp to the dentin, as well as to your jaw.
In a perfect world, your teeth will continue to work perfectly for the rest of your life. However, there are times that you get a cavity in your tooth. If we don’t get a chance to fix your cavity, it will continue to grow, which means a large hole will be created in your tooth and more bacteria will get in. Eventually, if the cavity is left untreated, the bacteria will get into your tooth pulp, which will cause an infection. Not only does this cause your tooth to become painful, the infection can continue to spread to your other teeth, as well as your bones and nerves. If we do root canal therapy, we are working to repair and save your tooth.
What Happens in Root Canal Therapy?
If you come into our office for a root canal, our first step is to take x-rays, so we know where your infection is. We would then numb your tooth, so that you are not in pain when we begin to fix your tooth. We make a small incision in your tooth, so that we can reach the tooth pulp. We then remove the tooth pulp and treat the infection. We now can make sure that the infection is completely cleaned out. Once we have treated the infection, we will fill the space left inside your tooth from where the pulp once was. Sometimes the composite material also has antibiotic medication, so the chances of the tooth being reinfected is next to none.
After we clean out the infection, we then usually need to crown the tooth. We want your tooth to be as strong as possible, so crowning the tooth means that it is stronger and less likely to crack or break.
If you have a painful tooth, and you are worried that you might need root canal therapy, give Brush & Floss Dental Center a call at (203) 683-5253.