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Everything You Need to Know About Root Canals

October 13, 2021 / DENTISTRY

Have you been told you need a root canal? This is not usually welcomed news, but rest assured, you’re not alone.

Root canal treatments are meant to treat disorders of the tooth pulp, which is the soft tissue inside the crown and roots of the tooth. The pulp is made up of blood vessels, nerves and lymph vessels – all of this is important to keeping your teeth nourished and healthy. Endodontic treatments like root canals involve removing the tissue that’s been damaged and replacing it with something that will help keep the tooth functioning as normal.

Why do you need a root canal?

Tooth decay is the most common reason you may need a root canal. In the early stages of tooth decay, the outer layer of tooth enamel is penetrated, and a cavity forms. If that process is allowed to continue, the decay will continue moving toward the nerve of the tooth, causing infection and requiring a root canal to save the tooth.

Other reasons you may need a root canal include a tooth fracture that exposes the pulp to external irritants like air, food and drinks. Regardless of what initially caused the fracture, this type of injury will irritate the tooth pulp, creating the perfect environment for an abscess to develop. Once that happens, bacteria from your saliva grows within the tooth pulp, which can be very uncomfortable. If left untreated, the pulp will eventually die and the bone around the tooth will begin to decompose.

What is the procedure like?

Millions of root canals are performed by dentists and endodontists around the world every year, so being told you need a root canal is no reason to panic. A modern root canal is very similar to a routine filling and can usually be completed in one or two visits to your dentist in Caledon.

Here’s what you can expect to happen:

  • First, your dentist or endodontist needs to clean and shape the area, and they’ll start by making an opening in your tooth to clear away any filling and decay. Then, tiny, flexible files are used to remove the unhealthy pulp.
  • Then, once there’s no more pulp in the root canals and they have been smoothed, your dentist will likely use tiny cone-shaped pieces of gutta-percha to fill the canals and apply a sealer-cement to keep the filling material in place.
  • Once the inside of your tooth has been treated, the outside will be restored to protect your tooth’s underlying structures and to give it a healthy appearance.

If you’re ready to learn more about root canals and would like to speak with us, call the team at Caledon Dental Centre today. We’ll schedule you an appointment to discuss which treatment option is best for you and your unique needs.