CREATING BEAUTIFUL SMILES WITH
Understanding Root Canals
Beneath the tooth's outer enamel and inside the dentin is a soft tissue called the pulp tissue. The pulp tissue contains nerve fibers as well as being made up of connective tissue, arteries, veins, and lymph vessels. The nerve of a tooth enters at the tip of the tooth's roots. The nerve then runs through the tooth in small root "canals" which then meet up with the pulp chambers. The root canals are thin divisions that will branch off from the top of the pulp chamber down to the roots tip. Normally, each tooth has at least one canal, but usually not more than four.
Why You Feel Pain
If the pulp becomes infected from a fracture or a deep cavity, it can die. Anything that allows bacteria to enter the pulp will cause this outcome. The dead or damaged pulp will cause more blood flow and an escalation in cellular activity which then causes pressure to build up inside the tooth. This will result in pain when biting down or chewing food.
Why Get A Root Canal?
Your teeth can't heal themselves. If you don't receive treatment, the infection will likely spread and eventually, the tooth will either disintegrate or fall out. Pain will usually worsen until you'll be forced to seek emergency dental help. This may leave you with no choice but to have the tooth extracted which can cause other dental problems in the long run. It's true that an extraction is cheaper but if that happens you may end up needing a bridge or at least a dental implant which can cost more than simply having a root canal and a crown put into place if needed. If given the choice, it's always better to do what you can to keep your own teeth. Every dentist will agree that maintaining and keeping your own teeth healthy is the best option overall. We know that there are cases where this simply cannot be done. This is why your dentist will do whatever is necessary to focus on repairing and formulating the best course of action for your overall dental health.
After your root canal, you will schedule a follow-up exam so that the dentist can monitor the healing of the surrounding tissue. Unless a crown is put into place, it's recommended that you avoid chewing hard foods with that particular tooth. Beyond that, you should be able to go right back to brushing and flossing regularly and see your dentist as recommended.
If you feel that you should see the dentist about a possible root canal or because of tooth pain, call our office at Seneca Dental located in Seattle and make an appointment to see one of our dentists. If you're experiencing pain or discomfort or are worried that your damaged tooth should be looked at, don't wait to call us. The faster you schedule your appointment, the faster we can help. Remember, waiting can only make it worse.