Root canal therapy, performed by an endodontist, is used to treat infection on the inside of the tooth. Without this treatment, the infected tooth would probably have to be removed. A root canal helps you keep the tooth and use it normally.
Common Reasons for Root Canal Therapy
The root canal is actually a part of your tooth. It’s the interior portion, which is filled with nerve, vascular and connective tissue, which is collectively referred to as the pulp. These soft tissues can become infected or damaged if the hard portion of the tooth is compromised in any way. Infection can also travel up through the holes in the root tips where the tooth nerve and vascular tissue travels out of the tooth and joins the larger nervous and cardiovascular systems.
The most common ways in which this interior tissue is damaged include:
- Trauma, such as a broken tooth
- Cracks in the teeth
- Severe decay
- Decay from an adjacent tooth
- Infection inside the tooth
Damage to the tooth allows bacteria to enter the pulp. This can lead to extreme discomfort, particularly since the pulp is so nerve-rich. It’s important to keep the bacteria from spreading, since it could move into the facial bones and sinuses. Rather than pull the tooth to stop the spread of infection, you can instead have root canal therapy.
Root Canal Therapy—How It Works
Root canal therapy is performed by an endodontist—a dentist who specializes in issues involving the tooth pulp. A hole is drilled in the tooth and special tools of varying sizes are used to remove the infected tissue from the tooth’s interior. The root canal is then sterilized to prevent the infection from returning. A sterile compound is used to fill the empty cavity, then the small hole is filled. Finally, the tooth is prepared for a crown.
Since this treatment removes nerve tissue, the tooth will no longer be able to sense temperature or pressure after the procedure. However, once the dental crown is put into place, the tooth will be usable and able to stand up to chewing pressures.
Call our office in Coppell today to schedule a consultation with our endodontist to discuss your personal treatment!