The Patient's Guide to Root Canals

If your dentist has recommended root canal therapy in Bloomingdale, you may be wondering why you need it and what the treatment process involves. Use this guide to understand how root canal treatment works.


The Purpose of Root Canals

When one of your teeth suffers significant decay, it can leave its interior vulnerable to infection. Left untreated, a decayed tooth becomes a better hiding spot for food particles and an ideal place for bacteria to live. Eventually, bacteria can enter the weakened tooth and infect the soft tissue inside, called the pulp. Once they penetrate your tooth’s enamel, these bacteria can cause a painful infection that may continue to spread. Root canals are performed to remove the infected tissues and save your natural tooth.

The Procedure for Root Canals

The pulp of the tooth contains nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels that help your tooth develop while you are still growing. Luckily, fully-developed teeth can survive without the pulp. Before the procedure, your dentist will examine the painful tooth. He will probably take X-rays to determine the extent of the damage, and you will then be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. To begin the root canal, your dentist will drill a small hole in your affected tooth that will provide access to the infected pulp. Next, he will evacuate the pulp along with the bacteria and any dead tissue that’s inside. Finally, your dentist will clean the tooth’s interior of any remaining debris before sealing it closed. During a second visit, he may add a crown or filling to provide additional support.

The Benefits of Root Canals

One of the biggest benefits that patients gain from root canal therapy is that they save their natural tooth. By keeping your natural teeth, you can maintain your chewing efficiency as well as natural biting sensation and force. Saving your tooth prevents additional strain from affecting your other teeth, and also helps to preserve your overall oral health.

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