A Root Canal is a tooth-saving treatment that removes decay and infected pulp tissue inside the root of a tooth. It’s an essential step in preventing severe pain, infection and even bone loss.
A Sarasota dentist can tell if a root canal is needed by listening to your symptoms, conducting x-rays and looking at other dental conditions. This helps us diagnose the condition, decide if a root canal is the best solution and determine if you can have the procedure done safely and comfortably.
Irreversible Pulpitis Oftentimes, it’s difficult to tell if you have reversible or irreversible pulpitis, and it’s important to get treatment right away if your dentist thinks you might need it. If left untreated, the infection could spread to your other teeth or more vulnerable tissues like your heart.
If you have reversible pulpitis, your tooth’s internal health may return to normal after a root canal, although it will likely require further treatment to protect the tooth. For example, a crown can be placed shortly after the procedure to protect the tooth from further damage.
The Tooth’s Nerve is Not Vital to Its Health
Unlike the nerves in your hands or feet, the tooth’s nerve doesn’t play an important role in a tooth’s function. When your tooth is healthy, the nerve doesn’t transmit signals to other parts of your body.
When a tooth’s nerve becomes infected, it can lead to severe pain and an abscess in the pulp, which is a hole in the middle of your tooth. A root canal will relieve this pain and remove the abscess to stop the infection from spreading.
Reversible Tooth Damage A cracked, chipped or fractured tooth can also lead to pulpal nerve damage if it isn’t treated. The damage might be small, but the nerve tissue that was injured is still able to reach bacteria in the crack and cause serious infection.
You can’t prevent a broken or swollen tooth from causing damage to the pulp tissue, but you can reduce your risk of serious problems by caring for your teeth carefully and visiting the dentist regularly. If you have an accident that damages a tooth, see your dentist immediately and ask for a root canal.
How a Root Canal is Done
A dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area around your tooth. Using special tools, the dentist will make a small opening in the chamber where the nerves are located. He or she will then remove the infected pulp and clean out the empty canals.
After the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, a rubber-like substance called gutta-percha is used to fill the empty canals and seal them. Sometimes, a small post is placed in the canals to keep the gutta-percha in place.
Once the canals are filled and sealed, your dentist will usually cover the root canals with a protective covering. A dental crown is usually placed shortly afterward, protecting the tooth and making it strong enough to withstand chewing and biting.