The innermost area of a tooth is a hollow chamber that extends down into the canals of the tooth roots. This chamber is filled with a soft material called dental pulp, a combination of nerves, blood vessels, connective tissues, and other tissue types.
Dental pulp can become infected when bacteria enters the chamber. That can take place because of advanced dental decay, a cracked or fractured tooth, or traumatic injury. Because there is so little room inside the tooth chamber, the inflammation that builds from the infection has nowhere to go and creates significant pain.
Your body cannot effectively heal an infected tooth on its own. A root canal is a treatment that removes all infected dental pulp and provides structural support to an infected tooth.
Pain when biting down is a primary symptom of an infected tooth. Other signs that you may need a root canal include:
If you notice these changes, schedule a diagnostic exam right away. A root canal can eliminate pain in an infected tooth and prevent the infection from spreading to adjacent teeth and bone tissue.
You’ll receive numbing medication to ensure you remain comfortable from start to finish. Once you are resting comfortably in the treatment chair, your dentist creates a small opening in your tooth to gain access to the inner chamber.
A series of small dental instruments called files allow your dentist to remove all traces of infected pulp from the tooth's inner chamber. While pulp is critical for healthy tooth development, it no longer relies on the pulp for nourishment once your tooth is fully formed.
Next, the cleared chamber is carefully rinsed before a special dental material called gutta percha is placed to fill the emptied chamber. A small filling is placed to close the access hole. In many cases, a set of impressions are made to guide the fabrication of a custom dental crown, which serves to protect the treated tooth.
If you’re having a crown placed, you’ll return to have it checked for fit before being cemented into position, completing the root canal restoration.
To explore root canal treatment in greater detail, call the office today to book your visit. Online scheduling is also an option and takes very little time to accomplish.