Most of us try to keep our teeth clean and nice-looking. But we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what’s inside our teeth until something bad happens. When dental problems arise, in some cases the only way to save the tooth is through root canal treatment.

 

The tooth has the following parts:

  • The crown. This part of the tooth is located above the edge of the gums. It has a hard surface (enamel) that allows you to bite and chew.
  • The root. Below the edge of the gums, the root fixes the tooth to the bone.
  • The center of the tooth (the pulp cavity) contains the pulp. It is a soft tissue made up mainly of blood vessels and nerves.
  • The root canal. This is the pathway that connects the pulp cavity with the nerves and blood vessels of the jaw.
  • Cross section of two healthy teeth.

Pulp problems

Pulp problems usually occur when the pulp is exposed due to damage to the tooth’s crown, such as a cavity or injury. Once this happens, the pulp becomes inflamed. Also, bacteria in the mouth can infect and destroy the pulp. The infection can then spread throughout the pulp cavity and root canal. If it reaches the tip of the root, the infection can invade the bone. In some cases, it forms a pocket of pus (abscess). If nothing is done to stop it, this process leads to bone and tooth loss.

Deciding on a root canal treatment

Root canal treatment can save a tooth whose pulp has been destroyed. The earlier the tooth is treated, the less pain, difficulty and expense will be. And although many people believe that root canal treatment is painful, it is a simple myth. Treatment rarely causes discomfort.

Treatment overview

In a root canal treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed. The first step is to form an opening in the crown. The dentist like dentista then cleans the pulp cavity and root canals. These spaces are then filled with a gummy substance. This acts as a permanent bandage. Finally, the crown of the tooth is restored to protect it against further damage or infection. The treatment has the following objectives:

  • Relieve pain and other symptoms
  • Stop any infection and prevent it from spreading
  • Save the tooth so that it does not need to be extracted
  • Risks and possible complications

 

Root canal treatment has a high success rate. If they do occur, the complications are usually mild and treatable. Some of the risks and possible complications are as follows:

  • Pain or infection
  • Reaction to medicine or anesthesia
  • Pain in the jaw joint and the muscles around it
  • Broken (chipped) teeth in a root canal