The condition that root canal therapy is meant to treat, known as tooth decay, is the most common chronic dental concern for patients of all ages. However, root canal therapy isn’t that frequently recommended, and for good reason. Tooth decay is progressive, and in most cases, it’s treated before it has a chance to infect your tooth’s root canals. However, if it does, then personalized therapy for the root canal could be necessary to stop the infection and reduce your risk of further complications with your oral health.
When a root canal needs to be treated
At any stage, tooth decay can only be effectively treated if it’s removed from your natural tooth structure. This stops the harmful bacteria from further eroding your tooth structure and removes any infected structure so that it can’t continue to get worse. In the case of root canal therapy, however, the need for treatment is more severe than in more common cases. Your tooth’s root canal is the inner chamber within its root, and it carries nerves, blood vessels, and other soft tissues from the jawbone to your tooth’s center pulp chamber. Because root canal treatment involves removing these tissues, it’s only necessary if tooth decay has reached this chamber.
The root canal treatment procedure
At its core, the root canal therapy procedure is similar to a tooth filling in many respects. For example, when filling a milder cavity that’s formed by tooth decay, the process involves removing the infected structure from the cavity, then filling it with biocompatible material. However, a tooth filling only restores the main part of your tooth structure, known as the dentin. During root canal therapy, removing infection from your tooth includes carefully accessing the internal pulp chamber to remove the tissues inside of it and the root canal that’s connected to it.
How root canal therapy preserves your tooth
Once the more intensive infection is removed from your tooth and root canal structure, the problems that tooth decay poses – mainly, its tendency to keep getting worse – will no longer be an immediate threat. This is essential in preserving the healthy, natural tooth structure that still remains, but this remaining structure may require help in regaining its strength and integrity. Root canal therapy stops severe tooth decay from eroding more of your tooth structure, and in most cases, a custom dental crown can protect this remaining structure in the long-term.
Learn if you need root canal therapy
Root canal therapy is the process of removing an infection from within your tooth structure and restoring the tooth’s strength and integrity. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, call Cedar Dental in Cedar Rapids, IA, today at (319) 364-7108.