Root Canal Treatment

Deep in the center of a tooth is vital tissue called the pulp. This consists of nourishing blood supply and nerve fibers. The pulp is contiguous with blood vessels and nerves in the bone at the end of a tooth's root through canals in the roots. If the pulp in a tooth gets inflamed through injury or infected by tooth decay, pain and infection can quickly travel from the tooth to surrounding bone via the root canals. When this happens, a tooth must either be removed completely or saved by having root canal treatment.

Root canal treatment involves removing damaged pulp and cleaning all tissue and infection from the canals in the roots. During this process, frequent applications of disinfecting agents and cleansing solutions are used to fight infection. Ultimately the canals are enlarged and shaped to ensure complete removal of debris. When pain and infection have subsided, usually at a subsequent appointment, the canals are filled with inert material sealed with medicated cement.

While root canal treatment itself is almost always painless, people often remember the pain before treatment begins and unfairly associate root canal treatment with painful memories. Also, when infection enters the jaw bone from the root canals, the healing process can take quite some time making a tooth tender to chew with for weeks after treatment. Therefore, it is important not to ignore warning signs of possible nerve damage such as increasingly sensitive teeth toward heat or cold and teeth sensitive toward chewing pressure. Root canal treatment can be a wonderful thing being it can preserve a precious tooth, but delaying the treatment can lead to needless pain, possible tooth loss and severe general health threatening infection.

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