What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the infection may spread to other parts of the body & cause serious infection.
“Root canal” is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal.
Why Does Tooth Pulp Need to Be Removed?
When a tooth’s nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of the roots of the tooth. An abscess occurs when the infection spreads all the way past the ends of the roots of the tooth. In addition to an abscess, an infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause:
- Swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head
- Bone Loss around the tip of the root
- Drainage problems extending outward from the root. A hole can occur through the side of the tooth with drainage into the gums or through the cheek with drainage into the skin.
What Damages a Tooth’s Nerve and Pulp in the First Place?
A tooth’s nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, and/or large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.
Who is a good candidate for Root Canals?
We will perform an examination to determine if you need a root canal. In some cases, an x-ray is needed to determine if the pulp is infected or exposed. If you do need a root canal, we recommend having it done as soon as possible to prevent the pain and sensitivity from getting worse. Root canals are one of the most common dental procedures done by dentists.
What can you expect when having a Root Canal done?
We start by administering local anesthesia to make the procedure comfortable. A rubber dental dam is used to isolate the tooth so that it can be worked on properly. We then remove any decay until we reach the inner pulp. The pulp is fully removed using specialized tools, and the canals of the roots cleaned. A medicated material is poured into the canals of the teeth, and the small hole is filled with composite resin filling material. The filling is cured into place with a bright light, and the rubber dam is removed. You can then leave the office free of pain and sensitivity.
If you think you might need a root canal, call our office today and we will be happy to further assist you in scheduling an appointment.
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Trying to find a dentist near you? We are conveniently located in the Atlanta Metropolitan area, serving patients in Sandy Springs as well as in the surrounding areas of East Cobb, Roswell, Dunwoody, and Brookhaven.