For our team at Northstar Dental, we consider root canals to be a necessary procedure in restoring functionality and appearance to deeply damaged teeth. Root canals, also known as endodontic treatment, focus on restoring the interior part of the tooth. In the centermost part of the tooth, beneath the enamel and hard dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. This pulp ranges from just below the crown of the tooth, down to the tip of the roots. Within this pulp, there are nerves, blood vessels, and other connective tissue. All these provide the nutrients that help grow the tooth.
Once the tooth is mature the pulp is no longer required as the neighboring tissues can now sustain it. This fact is what makes root canals one of the best options when it comes to saving severely damaged teeth. In many instances, damage to the pulp does not mean you have to lose your natural tooth. Damage can result due to a myriad of reasons including infection to the pulp, severe tooth decay, or a crack in the tooth that deeply penetrates.
How It Works
A root canal involves excavation of the damaged pulp from inside the tooth, cleaning the cavity created, possible reshaping, and then filling up and sealing it. Properly sanitized filling of the cavity is necessary to ensure no gaps where bacteria can reenter and cause damage again. A biocompatible material called gutta percha, and adhesive cement are typically used as filling for the root canals. A crown is then placed on top to protect the tooth and restore normal performance. A new crown may feel odd, but after a few days, you should not even notice it. If the crown does not fit on properly, a post may be placed within the tooth for needed support.
Common Reasons for Root Canals
Primarily, root canals are prompted by damage to the pulp. When this soft tissue becomes severely infected or inflamed, it becomes ideal for getting rid of it all together rather than risk spreading of the condition. As mentioned, the pulp contains blood vessels and nerves. An infection here can easily cause an abscess and spread to other areas of the head and body. Removing the tissues and sealing this entry point for bacteria is a highly effective protective measure.
Besides tooth decay, physical trauma can also result in cracking or chipping of the tooth, exposing the pulp. A poorly fitted crown and numerous other dental procedures to the tooth can also make it vulnerable and subject to frequent infections. With an infected or inflamed tooth, more pressure is put on other surrounding teeth to pick up the slack as you avoid its use. A root canal helps to resolve this damage and make normal use of the tooth possible again. Root canals have become an increasingly popular and effective dental procedure. They remove damaged matter and restore functionality in minimum time.
Rather than continuing to suffer in pain or discomfort from a tooth you believe might be a write-off, call us at Northstar Dental at (303) 481-3901 to make an appointment. Our team will make all necessary arrangements to ensure you get back that happy, healthy smile.