If you’re considering root canal therapy, learning basic root canal facts will help you gain an understanding of the procedure. Root canal therapy is known as endodontics – with “endo” meaning “inside” and “dont” meaning “tooth.” This procedure is performed in order to save an individual’s tooth when the pulp becomes infected or inflamed. There are also cases where trauma, such as a cracked or broken tooth, requires root canal therapy. The root canal process can vary from person-to-person, requiring one or more visits in order to repair a tooth.
What Does Root Canal Therapy Consist Of?
If you are experiencing pain related to an inflamed or infected tooth, find an experienced dentist that is trained in endodontics to perform your procedure. This type of dental care may be offered at your local dental practice, as it is sometimes performed in-house by skilled specialists. Before receiving treatment, it may benefit you to learn several root canal facts, in order to become familiar with the various steps of the procedure.
During root canal therapy, endodontists open the tooth to remove decay and infected pulp. The canals are then cleaned and sealed. Depending on the structure of the remaining tooth, either a filling or a crown is put in place.
Here are some parts of the tooth that play a role in root canal therapy – they’re also terms you may hear your endodontist mention:
Tooth enamel, the protective outer surface of the tooth, is also the hardest tissue in the human body.
The crown is the part of the tooth that you are most familiar with. It is the visible part of the tooth that has grown above the gums, and is covered by the enamel.
The tooth is primarily comprised of a substance called dentin, which is bone-like and is found beneath the surface of the crown.
The soft tissue area in the center of the tooth is called the pulp chamber. It contains connective tissue and blood vessels. It is the location of the tooth’s nerves, which are found along canals that extend from the root into the pulp chamber.
The area within the center of the tooth through which the nerves connect, beginning at the root and reaching the pulp chamber.
Common Root Canal Therapy Questions
Below are answers to some common questions that patients may have about a root canal:
Most of the time, fillings last for several years, or even a lifetime. The duration of your root canal filling is ultimately dependent on factors that include proper oral care, how much the infection has spread and how quickly the problem is addressed when signs of infection are recognized.
No need to worry about a painful root canal appointment. In fact, patients are administered local anesthetics that numb the teeth, allowing root canal therapy to be performed painlessly. Following the procedure, patients may feel sensitivity in the tooth; however, over-the-counter pain medicine can typically treat this minor sensitivity.
The use of sedation dentistry is helpful in combatting nervousness and fear. Trained specialists will provide patients with sedation therapy, which allows them to feel completely relaxed during their visit.
When you visit a dentist, they will examine your teeth and gums in order to arrive at the best treatment options for you. Depending on the severity of damage to your teeth, the doctor may offer treatments such as inlays or onlays, where doctors remove a cavity from the tooth before taking an impression of your teeth and replacing the damaged area with a piece crafted from composite material.
Caring for Your Teeth After a Root Canal Procedure
Learning root canal facts can be beneficial after root canal therapy is complete as well. You should treat your root canal filling just as you would any of your natural teeth. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and cleaning your tongue. Be sure to visit your dentist at least two times per year. Providing your teeth (and fillings!) with proper care will help to preserve your oral health, while also eliminating the need to have more teeth filled in the future.
If your dentist recommends that you undergo root canal therapy, don’t fret! This is an effective method to relieve the pain of an infected or inflamed tooth. After cleaning and filling the affected areas, you’ll have stronger teeth and a confident smile. For more information on root canal facts and the steps involved in the procedure, schedule an initial consultation online to visit our Acworth, Georgia practice or call (770) 203-1711