Mention of "root canal" evokes images of severe pain so commonly that people often complain about other pains by saying, "I'd sooner have root canal." In truth, however, root canal is maligned unfairly. Advances in technology, and the experience of our professional stuff have made root canal far less painful than its reputation suggests. Ironically, root canal is designed to minimize the pain from an infected tooth, it does not produce the pain.
Root canal treatment becomes necessary when the pulp inside your tooth gets infected. The pulp is the soft tissue inside your tooth, Home to connective tissues, blood vessels and nerves. The pulp goes from the crown of your tooth to the tip of the root in your jawbone. Normally, the tooth itself protects the pulp, but if the tooth is damaged by a very deep cavity, or a crack, or trauma from repeated repairs, bacteria can reach the pulp. Then the bacteria grow from the crown towards the root, pus accumulates at the root tips, and the mouth becomes painful and sensitive to hot and cold. Not all pulp infections bring pain; sometimes they spread so slowly that the patient feels nothing.
Root canal treatment occurs in three stages: First comes the diagnosis. Next comes the root canal itself, in which a dentist or an endodentist (a dentist who specializes in treating the inside of the tooth) removes the pulp (and thereby also the infection), and cleans the inside of the tooth preparatory to filling it, sometimes applying antibiotics to thwart further infection. A temporary filling is placed at the crown opening. Finally, in a subsequent appointment, a crown is installed to seal the tooth and protect it from further damage or infection.
Excellent oral hygiene after your root canal can help ensure success and prevent reinfection. Keeping your original teeth should always be your main objective. An untreated infection inside a tooth will only worsen over time; the pulp cannot heal itself. Without treatment, you may eventually lose the tooth, and require a bridge or other costly restoration. Protect your teeth by getting treatment as soon as learn that you need it.
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