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Root Canal Treatments

A root canal is a treatment that is used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or that becomes infected.

Root canal procedures are performed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged, and the nerve and pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.

Root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful. Actually, most people report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed. The discomfort experienced in the period leading up to a seeking of dental care is truly the painful period of time, not the root canal procedure itself.

Dental Pulp is the soft area within the center of the tooth where the tooth’s nerve lies. These root canals travel from the tip of the tooth’s root into the pulp chamber, where blood vessels and connective tissue can also be found that nourish the tooth.

A tooth’s nerve only serves a sensory role, to provide the sensation of hot or cold. Its absence of a nerve will not negatively impact the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.

The pulp needs to be removed because when nerve tissue or pulp is damaged it begins to break down, and bacteria will begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. This bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or abscessed tooth, and infect the root canal of a tooth.

A root canal procedure involves taking an x-ray to see the shape of the root canals and to determine of there is still any signs of infection left in the surrounding bone. Local anesthesia is then applied to numb the area near the bone.

The tooth is then cleaned out using root canal files, and once cleaned the tooth is sealed.

Additional dental work, such as the placement of a crown over the tooth to protect it, might need to be taken, and your dentist will discuss any need for additional work.