Tooth decay can be a preventable issue with proper oral health care habits and visit the dentist twice a year. However, if not properly monitored and proactively treated, decay can become severe to the point of continuous pain and discomfort to the eventual loss of teeth.
When it comes to this point, there is one particular procedure that can save a tooth from extraction: root canal treatment.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy, or endodontic treatment, is a procedure that treats the internal tissues of the tooth. Known as dental pulp, these tissues comprise nerves and blood vessels that keep the tooth healthy and alive. When decay breaks down the dental enamel, the bacteria can access this dental pulp and lead to an infection.
Once decay reaches the roots of the tooth, it can create an abscess or a pimple where puss leaks out from the infected dental pulp. Root canal therapy is designed to remove infected tissue to restore the tooth’s health and structure.
What does root canal therapy entail?
This treatment can take up to three appointments and ends with a natural tooth still in place, unlike an extraction.
Dentists begin with removing dental pulp through the top of the tooth. They thoroughly clean out the infected tissue and create a smooth chamber to be filled. Gutta-percha is a biocompatible material that is used in root canal treatments to fill the dental chamber and roots and prevent further infection. Once filled, the treated tooth is sealed and covered with a custom crown. This crown can be tooth colored and used to protect the entire tooth from infection.
How does Root Canal Therapy Save a Tooth from Extraction?
Extraction is necessary only if the tooth is deemed untreatable and cannot be saved with root canal treatments. Extraction leaves the smile susceptible to issues such as jawbone density loss, poor chewing function, and smile misalignment. Root canal therapy is designed to save the natural tooth and keep it in place.
The sooner patients notice decay and get it treated, the more likely a tooth can be saved with root canal therapy.
Root canal therapy is known to be a painful experience, but it actually removes the source of your persistent uncomfortable aches – dental pulp decay. For more information about root canal treatments, schedule a visit to our office today.