In most cases root canal therapy is intended to repair and save a tooth that has become infected at its most inner core. The procedure involves removal of the nerve and pulp of the tooth as a way to save the natural tooth rather than extracting it. Further, It should be noted that the nerve and pulp are located well within the core of the tooth and can be removed as a way to prevent surrounding outer tooth and tissue from becoming infected. When root canal therapy is performed, the area is thoroughly cleaned, sanitized and sealed to ensure a successful outcome.
One of the main reasons that root canal treatment can be performed is that the nerve that lies within the center of the tooth is not essential to the tooth’s functionality or overall health. In short, the nerve and the pulp, which is the soft section found inside the root canal, can safely be removed as a way to preserve the patient’s natural tooth. The primary reason for removing tooth pulp that has become damaged is that it will eventually break down allowing for bacteria to develop within the pulp chamber.
When this type of condition is allowed to progress, decayed debris and bacteria in general may ultimately cause an infection resulting in an abscessed tooth. Simply stated, an abscess forms at the end of the tooth root and is basically a pocket of pus that can ultimately spread infection and cause pain. An abscessed tooth is a serious concern in terms of dental health because it can cause swelling that can easily spread to other areas of the body including the head, neck and face. In addition, an abscess can result in bone loss in proximity to the tip of the tooth root.
Another concern with regard to an abscessed tooth is that it can result in drainage problems that may extend outward from the tooth root. In some situations even a hole can result somewhere along the side of the affected tooth producing drainage into the gums and in some cases even the cheek. These are all serious health concerns that can put the patient’s general health at risk. Deep decay of this nature can result in a tooth’s nerve and pulp becoming inflamed, irritated and ultimately infected. Trauma to a tooth including a chip or a crack in the tooth itself or in a large filling can often result in the tooth nerve and pulp becoming damaged and ultimately infected.
During root canal therapy, a dental professional or endodontist will take x-rays as a way to inspect the shape of the root canal and to determine where any infection may exist. For the actual procedure, local anesthesia is used to numb the area prior to treatment. Next, a rubber sheet is placed around the tooth to isolate the area in preparation for the treatment. The endodontist will make a small access hole by drilling into the tooth. The decayed nerve, pulp and any existing bacteria are carefully and completely removed. Once the tooth has been thoroughly cleaned it is sealed as a way to prevent any future infection. A temporary filling is typically placed until a final restoration procedure can be performed. Talk with your Walnut Creek dentist, Massood Darvishzadeh, DDS at Dental Implant Solutions today to learn more about root canal therapy.