The ins and outs of a root canal

So you’re at the dentist, and in pain. Two words come out of the dentists mouth… Root canal. What are your first thoughts?? 

Well I’m here to calm those thoughts and tell you a little bit about root canals.

First off, there are many different reasons for needing a root canal. A few of those causes include deep decay, a chip or crack in the tooth, or trauma to the tooth that may have caused damage in the pulp area. If the pulp becomes infected or inflamed and is left untreated it can cause pain and even abscesses.  Root canals can sound scary but they are actually extremely helpful in saving the structure of natural tooth.

The natural tooth is made up of many layers. On top is the white enamel and under that is a hard layer called dentin. The pulp of the tooth lies under the dentin. 

The pulp contains nerves, connective tissue and blood vessels.

After having a root canal treatment you will need to replace the top portion of the natural tooth with a buildup and crown. There are also occasions where there is already an existing crown on that tooth in which the dentist or endodontist will go into the tooth through a small hole in the crown. From there, the pulp is removed from the tooth. The tooth is carefully disinfected and cleaned in the pulp area, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material. 

When that is complete the tooth is then restored with a buildup and crown. If that tooth already has a crown restoration done, there is a possibility that the access hole could just be filled. That would be for the dentist to decide based on the condition of the existing crown.

A root canal can help to maintain a natural smile, limit on going dental work and even let you continue to eat the foods that you enjoy.  So if your dentist says those two words, don’t fear.