The advances in modern dentistry are nothing short of amazing. Yet, your own natural teeth remain superior to any material or restoration available. That is why Dr. Sharma is committed to helping you keep your own teeth healthy and beautiful. Endodontic therapy makes that possible in many cases of severe damage that would otherwise require extraction.
This is the medical name for root canal treatment, which addresses injury or disease inside of teeth. Like bones, teeth are not as solid as they appear. Rather than marrow, teeth have dental pulp in the middle. This pulp includes vessels, nerves, and other delicate soft tissues. The space it occupies is known as the pulp chamber, and tiny channels extending to the bone are called root canals. If the pulp is infected or the nerve is injured, you will need endodontic therapy in order to save the tooth.
Your dentist will first numb the tooth and then create a small opening. Specialized tools are used to remove the dental pulp. The pulp chamber and root canal are cleaned and sterilized, then filled and sealed with a material called gutta-percha. Lastly, the tooth will be restored with a dental crown.
Why would you need root canal therapy? The most common reasons are oral injury or untreated decay. The outermost layer on a tooth is enamel, which is ultra-hard, but also rather thin. A chip, cavity, or other damage to enamel can expose dentin, which is not as hard as enamel and decays more quickly. When a cavity erodes through the dentin, it exposes the pulp to harmful bacteria. Due to the enclosed nature of the pulp chamber, this infection won’t just “clear up.” Additionally, if the nerve is injured by a deep fracture or break, it will not heal.
The symptoms of pulp or nerve damage can vary, depending on the nature and severity of the problem. The most common signs that you might need a root canal procedure include:
There is a myth that endodontic treatment is painful. The opposite is true. Your tooth is completely numbed, so you shouldn’t feel anything more than a bit of pressure during the procedure. Furthermore, it relieves the pain and sensitivity associated with nerve damage. If you are nervous about the root canal procedure, sedation is available.