What is a Root Canal?
Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Years ago, diseased or injured teeth often were pulled. But today, even if the pulp inside one of your teeth is injured or infected, the tooth often can be saved through root canal (endodontic) treatment. Endodontics (end-o-DON-tics) is the branch of dentistry that deals with treating diseases or injuries to the dental pulp. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in root canal and other endodontic treatments.
What happens if the dental pulp is injured?
The pulp is soft tissue inside the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves. When the pulp is diseased or injured and unable to repair itself, it dies. The most common causes of pulp death are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, problems with large fillings, or serious injury to the tooth. All of these can allow bacteria to enter into the pulp.
Why should the pulp be removed?
If the problem pulp is not removed, the tissues around the root of the tooth can become infected, often resulting in pain and swelling. Even if there is no pain, bacteria can damage the bone that anchors the tooth in the jaw. Without treatment, the tooth may have to be pulled.
Removing a tooth can create problems
When a tooth is pulled and not replaced, the teeth around it may shift from their normal position. Shifted teeth may make biting and chewing difficult and may make it harder to clean your teeth. They may also make it harder to clean your teeth. Areas that are not cleaned well are more likely to get gum disease.
Root canal treatment can prevent these problems by saving your natural tooth. A natural tooth is almost always better than a replacement tooth. Nothing looks, feels or functions like the natural tooth--and being able to chew and enjoy your favorite foods will keep you healthy and confident. Also, a root canal is usually less expensive than a replacement tooth. > Read More
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