Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is an endodontic treatment that addresses conditions that affect the internal structure of teeth. This procedure tends to have an unfair reputation among some folks but this reputation is likely due to misinformation being spread over the years. The truth about root canal treatment is that this procedure prevents a patient from losing their tooth. When the inside of teeth become infected, they will eventually abscess or need to be extracted if not treated with endodontic therapy. By having root canal treatment, a patient can keep his or her tooth, avoid the need for extraction, and prevent painful and dangerous oral infections.
Tooth Anatomy: The Root Canal
Underneath tooth enamel and dentin is a hollow chamber called the root canal. This area inside the tooth is home to nerve endings and dental pulp, which contains cellular material. A healthy tooth’s root canal is sealed and therefore protected from harmful bacteria in the mouth. A damaged tooth, however, where the root canal is exposed to oral bacteria, is at risk for developing an infection. When a root canal becomes infected, the dental pulp and nerve endings will become inflamed. Inflamed and infected nerve endings can produce incredible pain for patients. Like the other structures of teeth, a root canal cannot self-repair and therefore must be treated professionally or the condition will progress. Untreated and infected root canals can also lead to a painful, systemic infection called an abscess, which can affect the gums and roots of teeth.
Endodontic therapy addresses two issues: the infection inside a tooth and impaired oral function caused by discomfort. Diagnostics like X-rays can reveal whether the inside of the tooth is infected. If the root canal is infected, our dentist may recommend endodontic therapy. Treating an internal infection involves accessing the root canal through the top of the tooth with tiny tools. Once the canal is accessed, the nerve endings and pulp are removed. The root canal is then irrigated and sealed so that patients can enjoy comfortable oral function and prevent complications associated with infected root canals. Sometimes, restorations like crowns or fillings are needed after endodontic therapy if the outside structure of a tooth is compromised.
Our dentist performs root canal treatment as gently as possible. We administer anesthetics and sedatives (if necessary) to promote peace of mind and relaxation. After treatment, our patients overwhelmingly report a comfortable experience.
To learn more about this treatment option, call our Dallas dental office today.