Root canals 101: Understanding injury, infection, and treatment in Phoenix, AZ
What is a root canal?
The actual root canal is a space inside the lower portion of the tooth, which houses dental pulp (nerves, vessels, and other soft tissue). Root canal therapy is a procedure for removing the pulp, sterilizing the canal, and sealing it. Naturally, we would not do this with a healthy tooth. It becomes necessary if the dental pulp is injured or infected.
Root canal therapy is a delicate procedure, but it is very straightforward and predictable when performed by a skilled dentist. It is nothing more than a technique for removing diseased tissue and sealing out future infection, which can save a tooth that would otherwise require extraction. Just like any other dental procedure, the area is numbed completely before any work begins. We also offer sedation if you need help relaxing.
Causes of injured pulp
Injury to the dental pulp often happens suddenly. Breaking a tooth in an auto accident, sports injury, falling, or other oral trauma can damage the nerve or cause other irreparable harm. Removing the pulp is the only solution.
Causes of infected dental pulp
Infection typically happens more gradually. Cavities begin as shallow depressions in the tooth enamel, and, if not treated, they gradually expand into the dentin layer. If it erodes through that layer, it reaches the pulp and creates a path for infective bacteria to enter. A fractured tooth may not directly injure the pulp, but it usually causes extreme sensitivity and recurrent toothaches. It also provides bacteria with an opening in the enamel, and a path to reach the pulp.
Many people avoid seeking treatment for toothaches, sensitivity, and decay because they are afraid of root canal treatment. Ironically, postponing dental care is often an indirect cause of infection, because it can usually be prevented when issues such as fractures and cavities are treated early. Additionally, the potential of root canal treatment is nothing to fear.
If you are ready to discover how gentle and comfortable dentistry (even root canal treatments) can really be, call (602) 714-2223, and schedule an appointment at Biltmore Dental Center.