How Can A Root Canal Save Your Tooth?

How Can A Root Canal Save Your Tooth?

Apr 01, 2021

The older you get, the more you realize that teeth are an important component of your oral cavity. Losing just one tooth can cause significant changes in the functionality of your mouth. While teeth are built to last a lifetime, it is not always the case for people.

Dental decay and cavities have caused many people to lose their adult teeth prematurely. However, there is a dental procedure that can help save your teeth, without having to keep the infection in your mouth.

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

It is a dental procedure that involves treating the pulp of a tooth to get rid of an infection and save a tooth. The process involves treating the insides of a tooth with an effort to save the external structure thereof.

Since the goal is always to save a tooth, this treatment works for patients who have salvageable teeth. Ideally, if you have a severely decayed tooth, a dental extraction would be more suited for you than a root canal.

Understanding the Structure of a Tooth

A tooth has multiple layers. The outermost layer is called the enamel, which is what can be seen when you smile. Beneath it is the dentin, which covers the central part of the tooth, the pulp chamber.

The pulp chamber houses the nerve endings, blood vessels, and other soft tissues of a tooth, which are responsible for nourishing the tooth. As a tooth is growing, it requires the contents of the pulp to keep it developing.

When you have a cavity or infection on your tooth, it breaches the different layers there are. By the time you are experiencing a toothache, it means that the infection has reached the pulp of your tooth. This is where you need an endodontist to perform a root canal procedure to save your tooth.

The Endodontic Process of Saving A Tooth

The procedure involves the following steps:

  1. Sedation – it is needed to numb your mouth and keep you calm during the treatment.
  2. Drilling – a hole is made on your tooth to create an access point to the insides thereof.
  3. Cleaning – this step involves removing the bacteria and infection present in your tooth. The dentist also cleans out the damaged contents of your pulp. Since your tooth is fully developed, it can survive without the contents of the pulp, as it received nourishment from the surrounding tissues.
  4. Filling and sealing – once the tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, it is filled. The filling helps maintain the structure of the tooth, promoting optimal functionality. The tooth is then sealed to prevent the re-entry of bacteria.
  5. Capping – in some occasions, the structure of the tooth is not strong enough to exist on its own. A dentist may, therefore, recommend placing a dental crown over it to reinforce the strength of the tooth.

How to Know You Need A Root Canal Procedure

Any time your oral health is improper, it is necessary to seek the attention of a dentist. From here, a dental expert is best placed at recommending a dental procedure, whether a root canal or otherwise. For root canal treatment, here are some of the signs that you need to get the procedure done:

  1. Pain when you chew food or bite down on something. Sometimes the pain will result from chewing hard foods. However, as the infection progresses, you may have a hard time chewing even on soft foods.
  2. Heightened teeth sensitivity – this will often be noticed when you are exposed to hot or cold substances. In some cases, the sensitivity will still be lingering even after the sensation of heat or cold has been removed.
  3. Severe toothache – at this point, your tooth has infected a big part of your tooth, usually to the roots. If you wait too long, a toothache may result in the need of having your tooth extracted. This is why it is important to see your dentist before things get extremely out of hand.
  4. Swollen or tender gums – you may even notice some pimples on your gums around the affected tooth.
  5. A noticeable cavity – usually deep and dark.
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