What Is A Root Canal?
A root canal is the removal of nerves and the replacement of the nerve with sterile filling. Your tooth is made up of many layers. The outside layer is called enamel and is made of minerals. The middle layer is dentin, which is also a calcified tissue, but less dense. The center of the tooth is called the pulp, and that host the nerves and blood vessels. A root canal is the removal and replacement of this center with sterile filling. A root canal is needed when an infection spreads to the center of the tooth. This can be from trauma, a cavity, a severe crack, or other compromises that causes nerve damage. An x-ray and examination are required to see if a root canal is needed. Symptoms may included but are not limited to pain, swelling, change in tooth color, and lingering pain from hot or cold stimulation.
The Process of a Root Canal
When it is time to begin treatment, you’ll receive local anesthesia to make you comfortable. The nerve chamber will be accessed and all of the infected area is removed including the nerve tissue and blood vessels. Then medicines are used to sterilize and alleviate any pain. Next is the placement of a filling material into the space where the nerve was located.
When the nerve and blood supply are removed, the tooth is non-vital, or dead and will become weak and brittle. It is recommended to place a crown on the tooth to keep the tooth from breaking or falling apart. The crown covers the top of the tooth and protect it by strengthening the tooth and preventing breakage.
A root canal saves the tooth that would otherwise be extracted.