What Root Canal Therapy Is and How It Is Performed
If you need a root canal, you likely want to know what root canal therapy is and how it is performed. At Wimmer Dental in Centennial, we know that explaining the procedure can help make you feel more comfortable.
Many times cavities can be fixed with a simple dental procedure that can be completed in one visit to the dentist. But sometimes the tooth’s decay is so much that it causes a lot of pain because the infection and bacteria have worked their way into the tooth pulp.
Pulling the tooth can solve the problem, but trying to save the tooth is important to your smile and the integrity of the surrounding teeth. In those circumstances, root canal therapy may be your best option. Root canal therapy is often not too different from a regular cavity filling. It is a routine procedure, performed by dentists regularly and often in one visit.
Root canals referred to as endodontic treatment by your dentist, can help save the infected tooth’s structure and keep the surrounding teeth undamaged. Keeping the teeth intact and avoiding an extraction is the goal.
Let’s take a closer look. Underneath the enamel and dentin of the tooth, there is soft tissue that has connective tissues, nerves, and blood vessels. This is what dentists call the pulp. When you are a child, the pulp grows the roots of teeth. However, when your tooth is fully developed, it can survive without the pulp because the surrounding tissues can now nourish and support it to keep it healthy.
Root canal therapy is used when the damaged tooth shows severe decay and signs that the tooth pulp is infected or inflamed. When there is inflammation, you will likely feel a lot of pain when you chew, talk or flex your jaw muscles. Inflammation can also be caused by bad crowns, tooth chips, and cracks, as well as other traumas or issues.
With root canal therapy, the tooth pulp is taken out and the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. A rubber-like substance called gutta-percha seals the tooth. When it has set, then the repaired tooth is fitted with a crown, either metal or porcelain, which is the same color as your other teeth and blends in more naturally. The pain is gone, and your ability to chew and talk normally has been restored.
The benefits of root canal therapy are, saving the tooth, balancing bite forces so you can chew, and keeping the surrounding teeth strong and undamaged.
At Wimmer Dental in Centennial, we explain what root canal therapy is and how it is performed to every patient. Our goal is to put you at ease so that you will be confident that when the procedure is complete, your tooth will function the same as it did before, and the repair will hardly be noticed. Millions of root canals are done each year, and the procedure will allow you to keep your smile, eat your favorite foods with ease, and most repaired teeth will last a lifetime.