You may not often think about the intricate layers and functions of your teeth beyond their appearance or function of chewing. A tooth is, in fact, a sensory organ that is comprised of several components, including:
- Enamel – the outer layer surrounding the entire crown of the tooth is the strongest tissue in the body
- Dentin – a bony, dense, and calcified tissue, which creates the majority of the tooth under the enamel
- Cementum – a thin layer of hard tissue that covers the root of the tooth and anchors the tooth to the jawbone with fibers
- Pulp – the soft tissue located in the center of the tooth contains the nerve, blood vessels, lymph vessels, connective tissue, and cells that produce dentin. The pulp cavity has two parts: the pulp chamber in the crown (the visible portion of the tooth) and the canal in the root of the tooth
Pulp can become infected if plaque develops and causes cavities. Without appropriate treatment, the cavity can eventually reach the pulp of the tooth, affecting the blood vessels and nerves, and lead to pulp diseases, such as:
- Reversible pulpitis is a mild inflammation of pulp which can cause sensitivity or may lead to a dental abscess
- Irreversible pulpitis is a serious inflammation without a cure which causes intense pain
- Dental pulp exposure occurs when a crack or cavity opens the pulp to bacteria and debris causing pain or leading to an abscess
- Dental pulp calcification, or pulp stones, occurs when the pulp tissue hardens, resulting in severe pain and hypersensitivity
At Biltmore Dental Center in Phoenix, Dr. Sameet Koppikar and our professional team provide an extensive menu of advanced dental care including preventative, family, cosmetic, emergency, and sedation dentistry. Dr. Koppikar can diagnose the extent and type of pulp infection and recommend the appropriate treatment, which may include extraction or root canal therapy.
Root canal therapy involves clearing out the infected nerves and pulp and placing a seal into the root of the tooth to prevent bacteria from invading. After the procedure, a natural-looking protective crown is placed to save the tooth structure and restore function.
If you are experiencing tooth pain, contact our friendly staff at Biltmore Dental Center for a thorough evaluation. Appointments are available by online request or by calling us at (602) 954-8200.