Root canal treatment is used to restore a tooth with major internal damage or infection. The treatment allows you to keep your tooth rather than having it extracted. After the infected and/or damaged tissue is removed, the tooth is fitted with a dental crown.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
The root canal is the interior of the tooth, filled with soft tissue that is protected by the harder outer layers of dentin and enamel. This soft tissue is called the pulp. It is made up of nerve, cardiovascular, and connective tissue. The pulp provides blood flow to the tooth, and the nerve tissue enables your tooth to sense temperature and pressure.
Root canal therapy is performed by an endodontist—a dentist who specializes in treating the tooth pulp. The pulp is completely removed along with the individual nerve that serves the tooth. Once the tooth’s interior is cleared of damaged tissue and infection, it is disinfected and filled with a sterile resin. To keep the tooth strong and functional, this treatment is followed by restoration with a dental crown. After your root canal is completed, you’ll be able to use your tooth normally, although it will no longer be able to sense heat, cold, or pressure.
The Results of Root Canal Therapy
During the root canal treatment, your endodontist removes all the soft interior structures of your tooth. This leaves behind the dentin and enamel, which are hard substances meant to stand up to the pressure of chewing and biting. The structure of the tooth is compromised by the root canal treatment, though, so a restoration is necessary to ensure the tooth will be usable.
In order to remove the damaged pulp, the endodontist drills a hole in the tooth. This hole is closed with a filling, then the exterior tooth structures are modified to make room for a dental crown. Usually, you’ll see your regular dentist for this part of the treatment. Once the crown is in place, your tooth will be completely usable again, and should last you for many years.
Ar you concerned about a damaged tooth? Call the office of Dr. Lee today to schedule an appointment with our team!