A root canal might seem scary, but it’s actually a very common and routine dental procedure that is performed to help alleviate pain and swelling in the affected tooth. It’s a safe procedure that helps alleviate discomfort, and will save your tooth from extraction when performed in time.
To understand how a root canal works, let’s cover some basics first: what is the root canal?
Your tooth has two main divisions: the crown (the visible portion) and the root (inside your gums and jawbone). Additionally there are three main segments of a tooth: the outer enamel layer, the middle layer known as dentin, and the inner layer called the pulp chamber. The pulp chamber houses all of the living inner workings of your tooth, including all of the nerves and blood vessels.
A root canal is a dental procedure that involves removing any infected tissue from inside your tooth and replacing it with a filling. It’s usually recommended when the pulp of your tooth has become infected or damaged.
It may be necessary to have a root canal if there is substantial deterioration or infection of the tooth. If a tooth becomes infected with bacteria and begins to die, a root canal will be used to help remove the source of the infection and allow your body to heal.
During a root canal, your dentist will first remove the cavity and clear out the pulp chamber and canals within the root of the infected tooth. Once this is completed, they’ll fill that space with a rubber-like material called gutta percha. This will help block bacteria from re-accessing the tooth and pulp chamber so that it can heal properly.
Signs that a tooth is infected and might need a root canal include intense tooth pain, an increase in heat/cold sensitivity in a specific tooth, or trauma to your mouth or teeth. If you’re concerned about an unexplained pain or other symptom, then it’s best to speak to a dentist as soon as possible.
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