Trauma, gum disease, and tooth decay are all things that can impact the health of your teeth, and when conditions get bad enough, a root canal may be called for. Your dentist’s primary goal is to preserve the health of your teeth, and when that fails to restore your natural teeth rather than extract them. When tooth decay has penetrated through the strong enamel that covers your teeth and caused infection inside, a root canal may be necessary to save your tooth. We’ll tell you a little about what is involved in Root Canal Treatment and how it can preserve the health of your teeth.
What Is A Root Canal Treatment?
While they are often referred to as “Root Canals,” the full term for the procedure is a root canal treatment. What, then, is a root canal? Inside our tooth can be found long tube-shaped structures that often have a varying number of branches of different sizes. These tubes are where the blood vessels and tissues that feed the pulp pass into your tooth. When tooth decay has allowed the infection to get inside your tooth and affect the pulp, a root canal can ensure you keep your natural tooth.
- Dental Imaging – X-Rays will be taken of your teeth prior to the procedure to make sure your dentist has the most recent information about your procedure.
- Visual Inspection – In addition to the above, your dentist will do a visual inspection of the area to ensure that its safe to proceed with your procedure.
- Preparation – A small rubber sheet known as a dental dam will be put in place to protect the tooth and isolate it from the surrounding elements. This serves to keep the tooth dry and clean throughout.
- Open The Tooth – A special drill is used to open the top of the target tooth, exposing the interior of the tooth and exposing the blood vessels and nerves of the tooth pulp.
- Remove Pulp – Now that it’s exposed, the pulp is removed from the interior of the tooth. While vital to dental development, adult teeth can survive with nutrients from the gums. This is continued by cleaning and sterilizing the interior of the tooth.
- Fill and Close – A material known as gutta-percha will be used to fill the interior of the tooth, at which point it will be sealed with a temporary filling to protect the site until a permanent crown is made. Some dentists can do this in the same visit.
Why It’s Better Than Performing An Extraction
While you may think you can afford to lose a single tooth, the truth of the matter is all of your teeth rely on one another. They share a load of chewing, lean on each other to retain their position and alignment, and help protect each other from decay. Each lost tooth is another vulnerability in your oral health and a pathway to future dental problems.