What is a Root Canal?
There’s no need to be apprehensive if your Cary dentist recommends a root canal procedure to treat a damaged or diseased tooth. Root canal treatment is very common and typically as easy as a regular filling. Nothing like its dreadful reputation of the past, current endodontic, or root canal treatment can usually be completed in one or two appointments, depending on the condition and size of your tooth. It is relatively painless and restores teeth back to a healthy state again.
Your tooth is made of a hard, outer white layer called enamel. Underneath the enamel is another hard, yellow layer called dentin and under that is a soft tissue chamber called the pulp. The pulp consists of living blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, which help grow the root of your tooth during its development. Once fully developed, the pulp is not necessary for tooth survival; it continues to be sustained by the tissues around it.
What Are the Advantages of having a Root Canal?
Besides saving your own tooth, undergoing root canal treatment has many advantages:
* Maintains efficient chewing
* Allows for normal biting force and sensation
* Preserves the natural appearance of your smile
* Protects other teeth from excessive wear or movement
What Are the Indications of a Root Canal Procedure and What is Involved?
Endodontic or root canal treatment is indicated when the pulp of your tooth becomes inflamed or infected as a result of deep decay, repeated dental procedures, inadequate crowns, or a crack or large chip in the tooth. Trauma to your tooth, resulting from sports injuries or accidents, may also cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks, and may not become apparent for years. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
During a root canal or other endodontic procedure, the inflamed or infected pulp tissue is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned, shaped and disinfected, leaving a hollow-like tube. This tube is then filled and sealed with a bio-compatible rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Afterwards, your Cary dentist will restore the tooth with a build-up and crown or a filling for protection and it will continue to serve like any other tooth in your mouth.
Having a root canal allows you to maintain your natural smile and continue eating normally. When cared for properly, most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime.
Are there any alternatives to Root Canal Therapy?
If a tooth requiring a root canal is not treated, it must be removed. While that may seem like an easier fix at the time, it can present challenges in the future. After an extraction, a dental implant, fixed bridge or removable partial denture is usually necessary to prevent the remaining teeth from drifting. Generally, these replacements are more expensive and time-consuming than root canal treatment, and while stable, they are usually never as good as the feeling of a natural tooth. Talk with your Cary dentist about the best treatment for you.