Root Canals Save Your Teeth
Learn about root canal procedures from your Westerly dentist.
Though root canal procedures tend to be shrouded in myths, they are one of the most beneficial dental procedures available. With a reputation for being painful, drawn-out procedures, root canals are actually just as painless as a dental filling and can save your infected tooth from extraction. Learn more about how root canals preserve your teeth with help from your Westerly, RI dentist.
When is a root canal necessary?
Tooth decay begins on the outside of the tooth, slowly eating its way through the tooth’s outer enamel and dentin layers until it reaches the inner pulp chamber. This area houses the tooth’s blood vessels and nerve. If the decay has not yet reached the inner pulp chamber, your Westerly dentist can usually remove the decay with a simple filling. However, when it reaches further into the tooth, a root canal becomes necessary. When these inner parts of the tooth become infected and inflamed, they also become painful, causing a toothache. Sometimes, the infection spreads outside of the tooth and causes an abscess on the gum.
How does a root canal work?
The first step in the root canal process is to numb the area of the tooth in question. Once numbed, your Westerly dentist makes an access hole in the crown, or top, of your tooth. The decayed or dead inner tissue, called pulp, is removed through the hole using specialized instruments. With the decay removed, your dentist focuses on scrubbing the inside of the tooth free of any leftover particles, then disinfects the tooth to ensure the infection is gone completely. Your dentist then fills the tooth using composite materials and seals it off to prevent further infection. In most cases, a dental crown placed over the now decay-free tooth protects it and stabilizes the filling within. Since the dental laboratory which creates the crown requires several weeks to complete it, a temporary crown protects your tooth until your dentist’s office receives the final, permanent restoration.
For more information on root canal therapy, please contact Dr. Mourad Rahim and Dr. Soha Alkoka at Advanced Aesthetic Dentistry in Westerly, RI. Call (401) 596-7707 to speak with a friendly and knowledgeable associate about scheduling your dental examination today!