You may only know the phrase “root canal” as it pertains to root canal therapy — the restorative dentistry procedure. Root canal therapy gets a reputation for being one of the more painful treatments, with a longer recovery time. Modern dental technology actually reduces much of the discomfort associated with this procedure, but it is a serious matter. Root canal therapy cleans bacterial infection out of your root canals. Since root canals transport nutrients to and from the jaw, maintaining healthy root canals is crucial for your overall oral health.
How Do Root Canals Work, and Why Are They Important?
While your teeth are hard, calcified tissues covered in enamel, they still need nutrients, as does the jawbone. Nutrients are transported to your teeth via the root canals. The tooth’s roots hold it in place within the jawbone. The root canals carry blood vessels and nerves into the jawbone. Through this pathway, the tooth can also receive nutrients. An infection in this area is particularly dangerous because it is difficult to reach, and also because the infectious bacteria can spread through the pathway to reach other oral tissues and create more problems.
How Can a Root Canal Become Infected?
The bacteria that cause root canal infections have to come from somewhere. The bacteria won’t just spontaneously appear. Most likely, infected root canals are the product of severe tooth decay. An untreated cavity will continue to grow in size. Eventually, the bacteria can reach the pulp of your tooth and work its way into the root canals. That’s why it’s so important to treat cavities with dental fillings while they are still small and manageable.
What Can You Do to Treat an Infected Root Canal?
You’ve probably already heard of the procedure to treat infected root canals. Root canal therapy is a procedure that your dentist can perform to remove bacteria from the root canals. Your dentist will very carefully access the interior of your tooth and thoroughly remove the bacterial buildup inside. After getting rid of all the bacteria, your dentist will fill the tooth with resin or ceramic, and fill the root canals with a substance called “gutta percha,” which is a biocompatible, rubber-like material. Most likely, your dentist will also place a dental crown over the damaged tooth to protect it.
Receive Your Root Canal Therapy from Cedar Dental
Dealing with infected root canals can be uncomfortable and intimidating. That’s why Cedar Dental focuses on creating a comfortable, welcoming care environment for patients. We want you to feel informed and prepared for the treatment you receive. We encourage patients to ask questions and voice concerns. If you have an oral health problem, contact Cedar Dental in Cedar Rapids, IA at 319-364-7108.