Root canal therapy can be required due to a number of reasons. A tooth’s nerve and pulp can become irritated due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures, large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or clenching and grinding your teeth at night.
A ‘root canal’ is the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. Inside this cavity lies the pulp. The pulp chamber holds the tooth’s nerve. When a tooth’s nerve and pulp become irritated, inflamed, or infected, an endodontic procedure (root canal therapy) is necessary. Without this, the tissues around the tooth can become infected and form abscesses.
Once the tooth is fully emerged through the gum tissues, a tooth’s nerve is actually not necessary to the health of a tooth. Quite frankly, the nerve mainly serves in a sensory function to hot, cold or pain. Removing this nerve does not affect the strength or function of the tooth.
A root canal is performed to repair and save a tooth. Once you are fully numbed, we reach the tooth’s pulp chamber through a small hole in the top of the tooth. Once the nerve and pulp are removed, we clean the inside of the tooth and seal it.
Today’s root canal therapy is no more involved than filling a tooth. When I hear jokes that refer to root canals, I remind myself that these people are unaware of modern techniques and technology. Today’s root canals are performed in a process that requires minimal time and with optimal comfort.
Remember, a tooth ache signifies something is wrong. Delay in treatment could mean that more extensive procedures could be needed later. Call 1-866-9-Smiles and let’s determine precisely what is causing the ache. If a root canal is necessary, you now know it is nothing to dread!