Did you know that root canal treatment could save your tooth? It’s true; if you are eligible for endodontic therapy and receive treatment quickly, you could theoretically keep your biological tooth for the rest of your life.
Root canal therapy prevents the need for extraction by removing infected material deep inside a tooth. If a patient waits too long to receive treatment, however, teeth can abscess. An abscess is a painful infection that is powerful enough to kill a tooth and infect neighboring structures. Abscessed teeth are commonly extracted to prevent the infection from spreading and restore comfort.
What is the root canal?
The root canal is actually a part of a tooth’s anatomy. Root canal treatment (endodontic therapy) is the procedure used to treat an infected root canal.
The root canal contains cellular material called dental pulp and nerve endings. Root canals in healthy teeth are sealed off from bacteria. If teeth are badly diseased or cracked, the contents of root canals can become infected when this part of the tooth is exposed to debris and bacteria.
Infected root canals are incredibly painful and without treatment, can quickly become abscessed.
What does root canal treatment entail?
If a root canal is infected, endodontic therapy might prevent the need for extraction. Endodontic therapy entails accessing the root canal with tiny but precise dental instruments. Then, a dentist will remove the dental pulp and nerve endings.
Once these materials are removed, the root canal is flushed to remove debris and bacteria. After this process is complete, the root canal is sealed with a rubber-like compound. Sealing the root canal is necessary to protect the structural integrity of the tooth’s interior.
It is common to place a restoration like a dental crown after root canal therapy. This is because the outside of a tooth was likely damaged for the root canal to become infected in the first place. Restorations will protect external tooth structure and restore a tooth to its proper shape and size.
To learn more about root canal treatment or to schedule a consultation, call our team at Parker-Nickolas-Read Dental today.