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Root Canal Therapy – The Alternative to Pain and Tooth Loss

root canal

Root canal therapy is not the problem. It is the solution to a problem. A root canal therapy is an endodontic procedure. You may need it if there is decay or infection deep within one of your teeth.

Let us first look at the anatomy of a tooth. Under the hard, upper layer, which is the enamel, there is a sensitive layer in the middle called dentin. Underneath all this is the pulp which is soft tissue. The pulp consists of blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. It goes all the way from the crown way down to the tip of the roots.

When the pulp tissue is diseased, it needs to be removed. The procedure used to do this is root canal therapy. The narrow channels underneath the pulp chamber inside teeth. These need to be cleaned after being hollowed out. Then nickel titanium files are used to file the interior of the root canal. Then the hollow is filled with appropriate filling material. That is the basic root canal procedure.

1. The process begins with your dentist taking an X-Ray of your tooth. Then the tooth will be numbed using a local anesthetic. Then a protective sheet, called a ‘dental dam’ will be placed on the tooth so that it stays saliva free and clean throughout the procedure.

2. Then your dentist will make a small opening in the crown of the tooth in question. The pulp chamber and root canals are then cleaned and shaped using flexible files. Six different kinds of files are used to do this.

3. After the pulp chamber and the root canals are cleaned off infection, these are ready to be filled in and sealed. A special, biocompatible material called gutta-percha, is used to fill in the root canals. This is done with the help of adhesive cement.

4. Then comes the crown. After the cleaning and filling is done, your tooth must be fitted with a crown so that it functions like a normal tooth. You can choose restorations other than crowns if you like. This may take a while if your tooth lacks enough structure for the crown to hold. In this case, your dentist may first place a post inside your tooth.

a root canal therapy costs less than an extraction because an extraction must necessarily be followed by restoration with implants or bridges. Most dental insurance policies have some amount of cover for root canal treatment.

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