Understanding Root Canal Therapy

Many people have misconceptions about root canal therapy that make them nervous. The truth is that root canal therapy is a safe, and relatively painless treatment that can save your tooth and eliminate the severe pain being caused by the infection in your mouth. Here’s what you should know:

Root Canal Therapy What is dental pulp?
Dental pulp is the innermost layer of your teeth. It is made up of nerves and blood vessels that provide nutrients to the tooth help you feel things like hot and cold.

How does root canal therapy work?
If dental pulp becomes infected it can destroy your tooth and damage surrounding teeth and tissue. Root canal therapy is a procedure that removes the infected pulp from inside your tooth so that it can no longer harm the tooth. During the procedure, the pulp will be removed, the inside of the tooth will be completely cleaned, and the hole that has been created will be filled in with a rubber material called gutta percha. After the tooth has been filled in, it is often covered with a crown to strengthen the tooth and protect it from future damage.

Why is root canal therapy important?
Root canal therapy is important because without it, you could completely lose your original tooth and sustain damage to other teeth and your gums. Some patients think that tooth extraction is a good alternative to root canal therapy, but if tooth extraction isn’t absolutely necessary, it is much better to save the original tooth. Although there are treatments that can replace a missing tooth, an artificial tooth will never be the same as the original tooth. The other downside of extracting a tooth is that if the hole isn’t filled in, the jawbone has nothing to support and it can become weaker and deteriorate.

What are signs you may need a root canal?
If you’ve been experiencing severe pain in one of your teeth, or if you’ve noticed that you are incredibly sensitive to hot and cold, you may need root canal therapy. Swollen or tender gums may also be a sign that root canal therapy is necessary. In some cases patients don’t notice any signs and x-rays are needed to diagnose the problem. It is important to visit your dentist for regular checkups so that any problems can be caught as quickly as possible.

To learn more about root canal therapy contact Peters Dental Associates.

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