Everyone gets shaken up at the thought of a root canal. The first thought that comes to mind after the mention of ‘root canal’ is, pain, closely followed by the costs you will incur for the treatment. Still, few understand what root canal means or even its connection to endodontic therapy. Here is a look at what root canal is about and everything you should know about it:
Technically, a root canal is a term used to refer to a cavity that occurs at the center of a tooth. When a cavity on a tooth worsens, the decay causes an infection on the pulp chamber. The pulp chamber is soft tissue within the tooth where the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues of the tooth are contained.
You may wonder how it is that you experience severe pain after having a cavity for a while. The tooth comprises of several layers. The crown of the tooth is what you can see in the mouth. Beneath the crown, however, is the pulp chamber, where all the sensitive parts of the teeth exist.
Before decaying bypasses the crown of your tooth, it is hard for you to experience any toothache. However, when the decaying advances, it breaches the crown of your tooth and gets to the pulp chamber. The infection then causes inflammation of the soft tissues surrounding the root of your tooth. At this stage, you may begin to experience toothaches because the pulp is inflamed.
The West Bloomfield pediatric dentists may recommend a root canal treatment at this stage. However, as the inflammation continues, the pulp gets infected. This infection goes all the way to the root of your tooth and builds up abscess. The damaged pulp will continue to multiply bacteria within the root of the tooth. This will increase the abscess build-up that will cause more pain and inflammation to the surrounding area of the tooth. A root canal treatment is, in this case, very critical, especially considering the amount of pain you will be experiencing throughout your jawbone.
Scary as getting a root canal treatment might sound to you, it is a great way to save a tooth. Here at the Golnick Pediatric Dentistry, we help explain to you how a tooth’s growth and development happens, so you can understand the importance of a root canal treatment.
The pulp, which is the most sensitive part of a tooth, contains all the tissues that connect your tooth to your mouth. The pulp chamber is, therefore, critical in the growth of a tooth. As a tooth grows, it cannot survive without the pulp. However, once it is fully matured, a tooth can do without the nerve endings. The pulp chamber is not vital to the health of a mature tooth since it has already emerged over the gums. The only role of the nerve endings in a tooth is for sensory of hot or cold. Other than that, a nerve does not in any way affect the functioning of a tooth.
Without performing the root canal treatment, the infected pulp will continuously cause pain. Therefore, root canal treatment is necessary to prevent further infection.
An endodontist, who is a specialist in root canal treatment handles the procedure. The procedure is known as endodontic therapy. The endodontist makes a small hole on the surface of the infected tooth to get access to the infected pulp. The pulp is then carefully removed, ensuring that the nerve no longer exists. The tooth is then cleaned and disinfected to get rid of all the abscess and bacteria in the root of the tooth. The hollow from which the pulp has been removed is then shaped appropriately.
The next step involves filling the space with a bio-compatible rubber-like material referred to as gutta-percha. The process involves the use of an adhesive cement to seal the hole to the root canals. At this point, the tooth is dead. All the pain and toothache disappears. However, with the pulp removed, the tooth is more fragile than it was before. To fix this, a crown or filling is needed to help protect the tooth.
If you are worried your toothache has become a problem, visit us today and save your tooth!