Root canal therapy can be one of the best things that you’ve done for your smile. When teeth are severely decayed or fractured, losing them is an everyday problem. Thankfully, root canals can save your teeth, your self-confidence, and the way your mouth functions.
A root canal is essentially a restoration that helps restore a tooth from the inside-out. If tooth decay reaches through the first two layers of the tooth, it can then affect the nerve inside of the tooth. Damaged nerves can allow infection to spread through the root of the tooth and into the bone around the teeth. Abscesses, pressure sensitivity, and hot and cold sensitivity are examples of symptoms found in nerve infections. As a result, the tooth will die completely and require an extraction in order to not spread infection to adjacent teeth.
During root canal therapy, the infected nerve tissue is removed. The process is similar to having a filling completed, but it takes a little more time since the treatment area is larger. Existing decay or damaged enamel is removed, as is the nerve. A medication is then placed inside of the nerve chamber, and the root is then sealed up with a filling material. This prevents further infection of bacteria from entering into the nerve chamber or out the root of the tooth. A crown is then placed over the remaining portion of the tooth, as the enamel is more brittle since the tooth is no longer vital. Crowns will function similar to a natural tooth, and keep the tooth working for several more years.
The time needed to complete a root canal will depend on what tooth is being treated (and how many roots it has.) Talk to your dentist today about saving your tooth before it’s too late.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Joyce Ma, Prime Dental Care
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