A root canal is a common dental procedure that sounds scarier than it actually is. You’ve probably heard of the term “root canal” before, but do you know exactly what it means?
Anatomy Of A Tooth
To start things off, its good understand the anatomy of a tooth. The outer part of the tooth you can touch and clean is an extremely hard substance called enamel. Enamel is actually clear, and the part you can see below it is a bone like substance called dentin. Dentin makes up most of your tooth, and gives it that white color.
At the core of your tooth, beneath enamel and dentin is a tooth’s pulp and pulp cavity. A tooth’s pulp contains many tiny blood vessels and nerves that supply the tooth with nutrients and blood, keeping it healthy. The pulp canal, or root canal, enters the tooth through the gums and continues up through the root into your pulp cavity. Sometimes the pulp in the root canal can become infected and will need to be treated; otherwise your tooth will require extraction.
The main causes of pulp infection are:
- Untreated cavities
- Injury to the tooth
- A cracked or broken tooth
- Repeated dental procedures
- Large fillings
What Are The Symptoms If A Root Canal Is Needed?
Sometimes you may have no symptoms at all, but other times you may experience:
- Severe toothache and pain when applying pressure
- Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, even after the temperature has been removed
- Sensitivity or swelling in the gums
- A reoccurring pimple on the gum
What Happens During Root Canal Therapy?
The treatment for clearing out this infected pulp is quite simple: Dr. Felix will remove it altogether! First she will make sure you are properly sedated and won’t feel any pain. Then she will drill down into your root canal with a specialized dental tool and carefully remove all of the infected pulp. Once the pulp is removed, she will fill in the empty space with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Next, she will restore your tooth to its proper state with a crown or filling. Your smile will look and feel great!
If you feel like you may be in need of a root canal, don’t hesitate and schedule an appointment with Dr. Felix right away.