All You Need to Know About Root Canal Therapy

All You Need to Know About Root Canal Therapy

Jul 07, 2021

Anatomy of the Tooth

To understand what root canal therapy is, you first need to have knowledge of the tooth’s structure. Contrary to what many people think, your teeth are not entirely solid. In between each tooth is a jelly-like core that is referred to as the tooth pulp. Each tooth consists of four layers. There is the outermost and hardest part which is what we see called the enamel. Past the enamel is the dentin layer that supports the enamel while also protecting the soft part at the center of the tooth. Then there is a hollowed-out part in the middle of the tooth after the dentin that houses the tooth pulp and root canals that extend beyond the roots of the teeth and into the jawbone. The pulp contains the nerves, blood vessels and other soft tissues. The final layer of the tooth is the cementum that protects the root of the teeth below the gums.

What is Root Canal Therapy?

When the enamel of your teeth becomes damaged either through decay or trauma, the soft part of the tooth becomes exposed, making it susceptible to an infection. When an infection reaches the pulp of the tooth, you will begin to experience symptoms such as inflammation, pain and tenderness around the affected area. Root canal therapy, which is also known as endodontic treatment focuses on problems of the tooth pulp and tissues around the root of the tooth. During the procedure, the nerve, blood vessels and other soft tissues are completely removed and then the inside of the root canal is cleaned and sealed.

Why is the Infected Pulp Removed?

Your dentist in Petaluma will recommend a root canal treatment to prevent an infection from spreading and completely damaging your tooth. If the bacteria within the pulp cavity is left untreated, it begins to multiply and causes more severe symptoms. An abscess may develop on the tooth and if the infection spreads past the tooth to areas such as the head and neck, it may be fatal. Patients may also start to experience bone loss around the tooth and eventual loss of a tooth

Basically, removing the infected pulp is the only way to get rid of the infection and stop it from spreading. It also helps preserves your natural tooth which promotes your dental health and function. Getting rid of the infected pulp also relieves tooth pain, which is the most prominent symptoms associated with a tooth infection.

What is the Procedure Like?

Root canal therapy in Petaluma can be performed by either a dentist or endodontist. The procedure begins by an extensive examination of the mouth to determine the severity of the infection. Dental x-rays will be taken to help map out the treatment plan. Depending on the findings, it may take one or more dental appointments to complete the procedure.

During the procedure, your dentist in 94954 will place a microscope that attaches to the wall over your mouth to enlarge things up and make it easy to find the way through the pulp chamber. The area around the tooth will then be numbed using local anesthesia and then the targeted tooth is isolated using a rubber dam. The tooth will be drilled to give access to the pulp chamber where the infected soft tissues are located. Using a series of tiny root canal files, the dentist will carefully scrape and scrub the canals to remove all the infected to remove the entire pulp. As this happens, the area is occasionally sprayed with water or sodium hypochlorite to flush away debris.

Once your doctor is certain all the pulp has been removed, the chamber is thoroughly cleaned and sealed using a material known as gutta percha. In some cases, the chamber may not be sealed immediately. Instead, your dentist will put in some medication to ensure the infection completely clears and wait for about a week before switching from a temporary filling to a permanent one. After a root canal treatment, you may still need to visit a dentist near you to have a crown placed on the tooth. This offers additional protection and support to the tooth.