If there’s any dental procedure that has an undeserved bad reputation, it’s root canal therapy!
Root canal therapy can be an important part of preserving the health of your teeth at your family dental practice. In fact, the main goal of the root canal therapy is to protect a tooth that has been seriously compromised by infection. A successful root canal saves and restores the tooth.
Let’s learn more about what it is and why you might need it.
Root Canal Therapy Helps You Avoid Tooth Extractions
What is a root canal? The root canal therapy targets a severely infected or damaged tooth. If not treated, the tooth will be lost and the infection can spread to the gums and possibly as far as the jawbone. Untreated infections like this can even be life-threatening.
In the past, teeth with these major problems were almost inevitably removed. Thanks to the root canal treatment, however, a family dental practice can usually protect the affected teeth.
The very center of each tooth is composed of a soft material called pulp. The pulp exists to help provide blood flow to a tooth’s nerve, just as the gum tissue supports blood circulation from the outside. Pulp is removed from the tooth during the root canal process.
The term “root canal” comes from the fact that the pulp extends from the middle of the tooth all the way down to the far part of the tooth’s roots. The roots reach so deep that its bottom-most part is well within the jawbone, and pulp is found in each of these “canals” on either side.
How is a Root Canal Performed?
A root canal is a sophisticated procedure requiring an expert family dental practice.
During this process, local anesthesia is administered to minimize the patient’s discomfort. Then, a small opening is created in the crown of the tooth. The pulp is excised and the root is cleaned and shaped. This whole process can take as little as a few minutes.
In fact, most root canals are completed within one short dental appointment.
Rarely, it might be necessary to cleanse the treated area of bacteria by adding special medication. In these cases, a root canal will call for two visits. A temporary filling is placed to prevent bacteria from migrating into the area. Antibiotics may be prescribed.
All in all, a root canal is quick and easy for the patient.
Done right, it’s almost completely discomfort-free.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of a Root Canal?
Your tooth can survive without pulp and it will still be fully functional. In fact, all you will lose is the ability to perceive hot and cold in the tooth. This is really not a great loss for most people, as both sensations are uncomfortable and the sense of taste is not affected.
The affected tooth can still decay as normal, so you should continue your usual brushing.
To find out more about root canals, contact your family dental practice at Landmark Dental Group.