People often cringe at the thought of root canal therapy (RCT) because they do not really understand the concept. This general dentistry procedure is a way of cleaning out and saving an infected tooth. The pain one feels is not the RCT, but rather the pain caused by infection at the nerve center of the tooth. When a tooth first becomes compromised, decay has attacked the outer shell or enamel. From there, it eats its way into the next layer called the dentin. This part of the tooth is not as hard as enamel so decay spreads faster. In some cases a tooth can have serious decay on the inside with just a small hole visible on the outside of the tooth. Once the decay has moved into the dentin it is just a matter of time before the nerve center, or pulp of the tooth becomes involved.
You may feel some discomfort once the dentin is attacked. In fact, the closer the decay moves toward the pulp the more sensitive the tooth may actually become. When it reaches the pulp, you have a serious problem. Usually an abscess will form at the base of the root causing pressure on the nerve and dissolving bone tissue. At this point, you will notice swelling. Depending on the extent of the decay inside the tooth, even at this juncture, it may be possible to save the tooth with RCT.
Root canal therapy removes the infected nerve of the tooth. The nerves are located in the canals of the roots of the teeth. Nerves come up through the jaw giving life and nourishment to the tooth. When these nerves become infected the tooth begins to die. Removing the nerve, cleaning out the canal then sealing it with a special material can save your natural tooth. This will prevent the problems that can occur with tooth loss.
Root Canals Are Not Painful - Infected Teeth Are Painful!
An infected tooth can cause discomfort that is unbearable. The extent of discomfort often causes patients to feel that the only relief is extraction. In some cases this may be the best course of action. In others it may actually be better to save the tooth with RCT. Whenever possible keeping your natural teeth is always the best option.
Contact our office today to schedule an appointment. We can alleviate your pain while improving your oral health.