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What is a Root Canal?

If your dentist has told you that you are in need of a root canal procedure, don’t be alarmed. Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with this procedure. Let’s identify the procedure itself, the reason why you may require such a treatment, how it is done and the benefits in having such a procedure.

The Anatomy of a tooth

Underneath that nice pearly white enamel surface is a hard layer called the dentin and then at the center of each tooth is a soft tissue called the pulp. This soft tissue contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues and feeds nutrition to the tooth. The thread like pulp extends the length of the tooth, from the crown down the roots to the surrounding tissue of your jawbone and gums.

Why you might need a Root Canal?

The most common reasons for pulp damage are if you have a cracked tooth which will allow that pulp to become infected. A deep cavity in your crown will have the same results delivering bacteria and infection to a healthy pulp. An injury to the tooth can result in damage pulp as well. Once the pulp
becomes infected it will create pus and begin to form an abscess on the tip of the root. This abscess will not only destroy bone and tissue around the tooth but will also become quite painful. If you do not address the tooth at this time the end result will be having the tooth extracted altogether.

The Root Canal Procedure

Once a local anesthesia is administered to the tooth a small drill will be used to open a hole either in the back of a front tooth or the crown of a molar. Then the diseased pulp is removed with the access of small files. The pulp chamber and the canals are cleared, cleaned and enlarged to be able to accept the filling that will be inserted into the vacated chamber and canals. Often times an antimicrobial solution will be used to kill any possible remaining bacteria. Next comes the permanent filling which is called gutta-percha. This is a rubbery like material that is inserted into the canals and then finally sealed with a cement. Often times it is strongly suggested that the tooth now receives a crown to protect it from any further damage.

The Benefits of having a Root Canal

Saving your natural tooth is always the ultimate goal. The reason behind that is to continue with your efficiency in both chewing and biting. You will maintain a normal sensation and the normal feeling of force to bite and chew. Of course, your tooth will continue to look natural in your smile. Also, by keeping that tooth it is a benefit to the neighboring healthy teeth regarding any excessive wear or strain and their ability to shift in your mouth. Good oral hygiene, brushing and flossing daily, may allow you to avoid ever needing a root canal. Do not sell the value of your smile short by any means. Take care of your teeth.

More About Root Canals : How long does a root canal take?