While a tooth infection can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, many people choose to live with the pain because they fear the speculative discomfort of a root canal. However, many report these procedures are pain-free, and moreover important. A tooth infection should not be left to fester, or else it can present significant health risks…
Root Canal Treatment and Tooth Pulp
Root canals have a bad reputation, but they are truly not that scary
A root canal is a procedure that is dreaded by most people, but it is actually quite painless. In reality, the scariest part of a root canal is the toothache that causes a person to need the procedure in the first place.
To demystify root canals, let us find out how they work and what problems they solve.
What does a root canal do?
Dentists and endodontists perform root canals to partially or fully remove the pulp of a tooth that has been damaged by infection of injury. They prefer to save a damaged tooth by removing the pulp, which is the innermost part of the tooth.
By performing a root canal, a dentist saves the outer tooth from extraction. This way, a patient gets to avoid the hassle that comes with a missing tooth, like a dental implant procedure.
Why would a dentist need to remove the dental pulp?
A dentist will remove dental pulp ecause of tooth decay, pulpitis, damage caused by multiple dental restorations or trauma that causes the tooth to break.
Trauma to the tooth can injure the pulp and expose it to infection. Tooth decay and pulpitis infect the pulp and damage the nerves and connective tissue in it. In the worst case scenario, the pulp dies and the tooth along with it.
So, what makes the pulp so important?
The pulp is the part of a tooth that is living. It contains the tooth’s nerves, soft tissue and connective tissue. As a tooth grows, the blood vessels in pulp transport nutrients to the roots. Once the tooth is fully grown, the root becomes able to fend for itself by getting its nourishment from the surrounding tissue.
The pulp is then left with two roles: to act as the "sensory organ" of the tooth and to connect the outer tooth to the root.
Dental pulp that is damaged or dead causes extreme pain, and if the tooth is left untreated, the infection within the pulp spreads to the rest of the body. The infection also causes the following complications:
- As the infection progresses, it causes a tooth abscess that manifests as a pimple on the gum at the site of the infected tooth
- Bone loss will begin to happen where the root rests on the jaw
- The infection will try to push its way out of the tooth, which will cause pain
- As the infection spreads, it will cause the face or neck to swell up
How does a dentist know if a patient needs a root canal?
Only a dentist can tell for sure if a person needs a root canal. That said, a tooth that needs the procedure will have the following symptoms:
- Severe, lingering pain when consuming hot or cold foods or drinks
- A bump on the gum caused by a dental abscess
- A darkened tooth caused by dying dental pulp
- Swelling and soreness in the gums surrounding the problem tooth
How is a root canal done?
The dentist numbs the tooth and uses a small dental drill to make a hole at the top of the tooth. With a dental file, the dentist removes the infected pulp. The dentist then cleans and disinfects the space in the tooth to remove the last of the diseased pulp.
After they dry the inside of the tooth, they seal it with a filling. In most cases, the dentist will cover the tooth with a crown.
A root canal will make you feel great again
If you have a toothache caused by a damaged inner tooth, then get a root canal to stop the pain. It will only take a short procedure to get you feeling as good as new. Do not suffer any longer, come and see one of our dentists today.
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Need a root canal near the 95482 area? Call Santa Rosa Endodontics at (707) 409-1177.
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