Have you heard a lot of stories and rumors about root canal therapy? If you’re lucky, you spoke to someone who told you the truth about this restorative treatment: It is comfortable, extremely beneficial, and can rescue an otherwise seriously unhealthy tooth. We would like you to set aside any not-so-positive tales that you may have been told over the years and consider the facts. By demystifying what to expect from a root canal and why you need it, you will find that saving your tooth and protecting your oral health is actually something you can get excited about.
Your Dental Pulp Is Infected
First, understand that your root canals are the lowermost hollow sections of your teeth that extend into your jawbone. Within these enclosed spaces lies dental pulp, a tissue that protects nerves and blood vessels. You can think of pulp as the life center of your tooth. When bacteria make contact with pulp, infection typically occurs. Unfortunately, your immune system is not set up to clear an infection in your tooth – the area remains open and vulnerable to bacteria. Instead, we must remove the pulp. This allows us to remove the infected tissue and clear away the infection (which may include the use of antibiotics).
Root Canal Therapy Saves Your Tooth
Your tooth will technically no longer be living once we remove its life source (the dental pulp). The good news is that by treating it with root canal therapy, the tooth does not require an extraction. You may continue using it as part of your smile. We will seal your roots with a rubbery substance called gutta percha to protect it from bacteria. We may also fill the tooth and will then protect and cover it with a dental crown, so it functions wonderfully and looks natural. Keep in mind, we will begin treatment by numbing your tooth and the tissues that surround it (and may offer sedation).