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What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is often used to remove bacteria and infection from the root canal and prevent it from becoming infected once again. Root canals are used to save the natural teeth. If you have an infected or damaged tooth, you are likely a good candidate for a root canal. Learn more about the process.
What is a root canal?
Enamel is located on the outside of the tooth. Underneath the enamel sits the dentin and the pulp is located underneath the dentin. The pulp is made of soft tissue that has nerves and blood vessels. The pulp nourishes the roots of the tooth when it is developing. However, once the tooth is developed, it can receive nourishment from the tissue that surrounds it, so it no longer relies on the pulp. If the pulp becomes infected or inflamed, it can damage the tooth, so root canal therapy is often recommended.
Benefits of saving the tooth with root canal therapy
Some people choose to have teeth extracted when the pulp becomes infected or inflamed, but it is wise to save the tooth when possible. When people save the tooth, they maintain natural smiles. The natural tooth also makes chewing more efficient. Also, the roots of the tooth stimulate the jawbone, so people do not have to worry about bone loss.
Signs that a root canal is needed
Dentists can determine the need for a root canal during an examination. However, patients often notice specific symptoms that let them know they need a root canal. Patients who notice symptoms should go to the dentist for an examination. Common symptoms include severe pain, chips or cracks in the teeth and lingering sensitivity. Patients also might have swollen gums or a dark tooth.
The root canal procedure usually requires two appointments. During the first appointment, the dentist drills through the tooth to the pulp chamber. The dentist removes the inflamed and infected pulp and cleans the root canals. Then the pulp chamber and root canals are sealed with a filling. If a crown is needed, the dentist takes an impression of the tooth and fits the patient with a temporary crown.
During the second appointment, the dentist removes the temporary dental crown. The dentist then fits the patient with the permanent crown. The dentist might floss around the crown to ensure it fits properly. Then the crown is cemented into place.
Do you need root canal therapy?
If you have a problem with your tooth, you might need a root canal. This process will allow you to save your natural tooth. If you have any of the signs that a root canal is needed, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will examine you and then conduct a root canal if necessary. It will likely take two visits for your dentist to complete the root canal. After it is over, you will enjoy the benefits of keeping your natural tooth.
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