The term “root canal” describes the center part of a tooth, which when healthy is filled with pulp and the tooth’s nerve. But the term is also used to describe the procedure that removes the pulp. It’s formally known as root canal therapy, and it’s one of our treatments at The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston.
Root canal therapy involves removing the tooth’s pulp and nerve. This becomes necessary when it becomes infected or abscessed. The tooth can still function quite well without the pulp and nerve.
The nerve and pulp of a tooth can become infected or inflamed due to decay, cracks in the tooth, trauma, or even a large filling. Symptoms include swelling and extreme sensitivity.
X-rays will confirm whether there is any infection. When the decision is made to proceed with root canal treatment, an access hole is drilled in the tooth and all of the infected tissue is removed, along with any related debris. The entire area is cleaned out and sealed.
It is common to wait a week or so before the tooth is sealed. This is a precaution against additional infection. As a final step a crown may be necessary. The original tooth is still there, but may be damaged due to decay or other weakness.
Throughtout the entire root canal procedure, patient comfort is uppermost in our minds. At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston sedation is always and option. Remember, root canal treatment is safe and common, and we’ll take good care of you.
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