Are you afraid of having a root canal procedure because your dentist has told mentioned you may need one? Don’t be because 95% of root canals are painless and achieve instant relief from pain after the procedure is completed due to removal of the nerve and inner soft tissue of the tooth. Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with root canal, or endodontic, treatment. Learn how root canal treatment can relieve your tooth pain and save your smile.
To understand a root canal procedure, it helps to know about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, and helps to grow the root of your tooth during development. In a fully developed tooth, the tooth can survive without the pulp because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.
Endodontic treatment treats the inside of the tooth. Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, faulty crowns, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, trauma to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
A root canal is a very common procedure performed by Dr. Patterson most days of the week. Although the procedure has a reputation of being very painful, that needn’t be the case for you. Dr. Patterson is proud of the fact that many patients at his Simi Valley practice report that their root canals were absolutely pain free.
A root canal is required when the dental pulp or the inner tissue of a tooth is permanently damaged from trauma or tooth decay. As a result, bacteria within the pulp cavity needs to be removed and cleaned in order to restore the tooth to its healthy state. Following the procedure, the tooth is fragile and consequently is restored with a crown for a lifetime of durability. Root canals performed at Casey Patterson DDS have an incredibly high success rate.
How does endodontic treatment save the tooth?
During root canal treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.
Depending on the condition of your tooth, root canals can usually be completed in one or two appointments. One can expect minor discomfort if any after a root canal procedure depending on the severity of the problem.
Saving the natural tooth with root canal treatment has many advantages:
- Efficient chewing
- Normal biting force and sensation
- Natural appearance
- Protects other teeth from excessive wear or strain
Endodontic treatment helps you maintain your natural smile, continue eating the foods you love and limit the need for ongoing dental work. With proper care, most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last as long as other natural teeth and often for a lifetime.