What Is a Root Canal?


April 13, 2015

dreamstime_xs_29949961A root canal is a procedure used to remove the pulp or nerve chamber of the tooth. This includes the blood supply, nerves, and connective tissue that are in the center of the tooth. If the pulp is injured or becomes infected, removing the pulp is the best way to save the structure of the tooth.

Several things can cause damage to the pulp of the tooth including:
• Deep decay due to an untreated cavity
• Multiple dental procedures on the same tooth
• A chip or crack in the tooth
• An injury to the tooth (sports, car accidents, falls)

The most common symptoms of a damaged pulp include pain and sensitivity. Swelling and infection can appear also. An x-ray and some testing will be necessary to ensure a root canal is warranted.

It is our goal to maintain teeth as long as possible as well as treat any infection present. Root canals are performed in efforts to save the tooth but sometimes the damage is too deep and the tooth is unable to withstand the procedure. This factor can lead to the loss of the tooth.

You should be able to return to normal routine following a root canal procedure. In most situations it will be recommended that a crown be placed over the root canal to prevent the tooth from breaking.

We encourage you to review all options and treatment with your dentist prior to having a root canal.

As always,
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