What is a Root Canal?

We have all heard the horror stories about the pain of root canals. Just the term is enough to make people feel nervous. If it becomes necessary for you to have a root canal you can rest easy, most people report that the procedure is no more painful that having a cavity filled. Your Dentist can tell you if you need a root canal and if necessary can explain the process so that you won’t be anxious.

What Is A Root Canal?

Dentists will recommend a root canal treatment when too badly damaged or infected that it is necessary to remove both the tooth nerve and pulp. The procedure saves a tooth that otherwise would have to be pulled. After removing the pulp chamber and the nerve, the tooth cleaned out and then sealed. If a root canal is not done or the tooth is not pulled, you can end up with an abscess or further infection. An abscess happens when the tooth pulp or nerve tissue is infected and forms a pocket of infection that goes all the way to the roots of the tooth. If left untreated you could develop swelling and pain in the face or neck with resulting a bone loss.

The procedure is called a root canal because of the fact that the nerve resides in the root canal which is in the center of the tooth. Even though the nerve for the teeth undergoing a root canal procedure is removed this does not affect the long-term health of the tooth’s health. You just will not feel sensations of hot or cold on that tooth. Your Dentist can explain the longevity of teeth that has undergone a root canal.

How Did The Tooth Get Infect?

The nerve and pulp of the tooth can get infected from a variety of causes including a cavity that did not get treated, a tooth that breaks off or is cracked, an injury, or a tooth that has been filled too many times. You may not even know there is a problem until a dentist examines your teeth. If there are symptoms they can include a relentless toothache, the tooth may get dark in color, and the gums may be swollen or tender and severe pain from heat or cold. If you have these persistent symptoms, make an appointment for a checkup with Dentist.

What Does The Dentist Do During A Root Canal Procedure?

Your dentist may perform the root canal, or he or she might refer you to an endodontist. An endodontist specializes in diseases or injuries of the pulp and nerves of the teeth. The degree of the damage to the root and pulp will determine whether you will require specialized care. The root canal procedure itself will probably take a couple of visits to the dentist. The procedure will include an X-ray, and then the decayed tissue will be removed after drilling into the tooth. After cleaning the tooth out, it is sealed. Sealing may happen at the next visit as many dentists like to make sure the infection is completely taken care of.

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