Dental Root Canals—Purpose and Procedure
A dental root canal is a procedure performed by an endodontist that is usually reserved as a last resort in order to save a severely decayed or damaged tooth. The procedure itself is similar to having a filling placed, and can be performed under local anesthesia.
Why Do I Need a Root Canal?
The dental root canal refers both to the procedure itself and to the area of the tooth that is treated. The tooth’s root canal is a space inside the tooth where the pulp and the nerve tissue are housed. This tissue allows your tooth to sense heat, cold, and pressure. The tissue can also become infected. This most often occurs if the tooth:
- Is broken off
- Is severely cracked
- Is extensively decayed
- Is infected
When the pulp tissue becomes infected, the bacteria can spread through the root canal into the jawbone and even into the facial bones, sinuses, or, in very severe cases, the brain. For this reason, it’s very important to have the infected tissue removed. The best way to do this and still save the tooth is to perform a dental root canal procedure.
How a Root Canal is Performed
A root canal procedure is performed by an endodontist—a dentist who specializes in treating the tooth interior. The dental specialist drills a hole in the affected tooth and inserts a series of special files of varying sizes that are used to remove the infected pulp tissue. After all the tissue is removed, the interior of the tooth is sterilized, then filled with a special resin to keep the tooth sterile and functional
The treated tooth is then prepared for a dental crown. The crown ensures the tooth will be usable and able to stand up to biting and chewing pressures. Because the pulp and nerve tissue have been removed, you will no longer have sensation in the tooth, but you’ll be able to chew and eat normally with it and not have to worry about a replacement tooth.
If you suspect you might need a root canal, call our office at 817-461-4292 immediately. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment.