The nerve tissue located in the root of each tooth supplies the tooth with blood and nourishment. When this delicate mass of soft tissue in the center of the tooth becomes infected or damaged, the tooth begins the process of dying. Known as the pulp, the nerve inside of a natural tooth can begin to die in response to an infection such as a deep cavity or nerve death may occur due to a severe injury. Occasionally, the nerve within a tooth can simply begin to die from an unknown cause.
If the nerve within a tooth is found to be deteriorating, it may be necessary to clean out the unhealthy nerve tissue in order to preserve the rest of the tooth. The procedure, known as root canal therapy, enables us to preserve the outer structure of a tooth while eliminating the pain and infection of a bad nerve.
Understanding the Root Canal Procedure
We will perform specific diagnostics tests to determine if root canal therapy is indicated for your tooth. Using x-rays, percussion testing, cold tests, and other vitality tests, we can determine if your tooth responds in a manner that is healthy or unhealthy. An unhealthy nerve may show signs of an abscess, you may experience throbbing or spontaneous pain, or the tooth may appear discolored.
To perform root canal therapy, the tissue will be numbed with local anesthetics and specialized instruments will be used to carefully clean and sterilize the narrow canal within the tooth root that once housed the nerve tissue. When the canal has been cleaned, shaped, and sterilized, it will be filled and sealed with a permanent filling material. Although root canal therapy has traditionally been viewed as a frightening or painful dental procedure, most patients report that the procedure was neither frightening nor painful.
Life After Root Canal Therapy
Without the blood supply that was once provided by the nerve tissue, a tooth can become brittle and vulnerable to breaking after root canal therapy. For this reason, these teeth must be typically fitted with a dental crown for added protection. The tooth will no longer feel sensations such as temperature sensitivity or pain, and a crown will provide enough strength for normal chewing. Free yourself from tooth pain or infection by contacting our team today and learning more about root canal therapy.
For more information on root canals, read our latest article, “Do You Need A Root Canal?“