Root canal therapy (RCT) may be one of the most misunderstood procedures in general dentistry. Throughout the years, people have seen this treatment as the monster of dental procedures when, in fact, it saves an infected tooth and the area surrounding that tooth from more damage.
Tooth decay starts on the surface of the tooth, eating its way through the hard enamel. Once the decay has reached the second layer, called the dentin, it spreads faster. Dentin is not as hard as enamel, so the decay can often spread in a much larger area beneath the enamel. From the outside one may just observe a small hole or darkened fissure, but inside the tooth, decay may be spreading profusely. At this point, you may feel some discomfort with temperature changes in foods and beverages. It is not until the decay works its way to the pulp that the problem becomes very serious.
This is the stage where you may feel discomfort with hot or cold foods and sweets. You may also feel discomfort when chewing or when letting up pressure from infected tooth. When the pulp becomes involved, more serious things begin to happen.
Root Canals Are Not Painful – Infected Teeth Are Painful!
When decay reaches the nerve center of the tooth – the pulp – then the tooth begins to die as nerves become infected. An abscess may form at the root of the tooth, the acids of which may begin to dissolve the bone surrounding the tooth. The discomfort at this stage may be unbearable. Extraction of the tooth may not be indicated, although it may feel that way. At Precision Digital Dental, Dr. Ma will determine if the tooth can be saved by RCT.
This procedure includes cleaning out all the decay from inside the tooth, including the area where the pulp is or the root canal. Once the area has been cleaned and sterilized, a special filling is used in the canal and the remainder of the tooth is filled with regular filling material. Depending on the size of the filling and damage done by the decay, the tooth may need to be crowned.
Do not lose a tooth to decay when it can be saved. At Precision Digital Dentistry, we do all we can to restore your oral health to the best it can be. Our priorities include giving you the best dental treatment available, in a comforting and relaxed environment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for you or a member of your family.