Root Canal Therapy - Garden Ridge Center For Dentistry

Root Canal Therapy

Inside your tooth, beneath the hard enamel exterior, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp provides blood supply and nourishment to the tooth, which is very important during tooth development. The pulp is where the nerve of each tooth is located. A root canal is a dental procedure that involves removing infected and inflamed pulpal tissue (nerve tissue) from within the tooth. The inside of the tooth is then carefully cleaned, disinfected, and sealed off.  A root canal is an effective and safe way to save a natural tooth, and seal it off from harmful bacteria. A fully developed tooth can survive without the pulp, because it can gain nourishment from the tissues surrounding the tooth.

Root Canal Causes - Garden Ridge Center For Dentistry

Root Canal Causes

There are a few reasons why a patient may need a root canal, or endodontic therapy. Commonly, it is because tooth decay in the form of a cavity grows and reaches all the way to the nerve of the tooth. Oftentimes, this is a painful process, and you may have discomfort while eating, drinking, or speaking. The pain can become quite significant when the bacteria from the cavity enters the pulp, sometimes keeping you awake at night. Another reason a tooth may need root canal therapy is due to trauma that damages the nerve of the tooth. In both cases, the nerve or pulp becomes infected and cannot heal on its own. It must be treated to prevent further pain and infection. Regular cleanings and checkups with x-rays can detect and prevent this process.

Infection Symptoms - Garden Ridge Center For Dentistry

Infection Symptoms

Symptoms that the nerve has become infected may include sensitivity to hot or cold, sensitivity when eating sweets, pain, swelling, pain from biting or pressure, or a bad taste in the mouth. If the infection has spread past the tooth, you may see a small pimple or swelling on the gum tissue. Sometimes, a patient will have no symptoms but the infection is identified with a radiograph (x-ray) taken on a routine check-up, which underscores the importance of regular dental visits.
The infection must be treated or the tooth must be removed. Root canal therapy for an infected nerve helps save the tooth. Often, a crown is a recommended procedure to protect the remaining tooth structure after root canal therapy is complete.

Modern Procedure Experience - Garden Ridge Center For Dentistry

Modern Procedure Experience

Modern root canal procedures can be done in one to two appointments, and the experience is similar to having a filling completed. You are numb during the procedure, to minimize pain. You will be back to smiling, eating, and speaking soon after the procedure!