When a tooth becomes decayed, it’s important to have it treated right away before it affects essential dental pulp inside of the tooth.
The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that extends from the crown of the tooth to the root tip near the jawbone. Severe decay has two main treatments, root canal therapy, and extraction. Root canal treatment is an essential procedure that saves a tooth from extraction. However, if the dentist deems your tooth loss, extraction may be necessary.
The purpose of root canal therapy is to remove the decayed dental pulp from inside the tooth. The entire tooth is saved and in place in the smile, and a crown is placed to restore its structure after treatment.
Decay or cavities develop due to a build-up of debris on and around the surface of teeth. This debris produces acid that erodes the enamel and allows for access into the dental chamber and pulp. Once the infection has reached the tip of the root in the jaw bone, a pus pocket called an abscess develops, damaging the bone around the teeth. This can lead to persistent, severe pain and swelling.
Root canal therapy begins with the removal of the diseased pulp. The chambers and canals are thoroughly cleaned and the abscess treated. Then the chamber and roots are reshaped to be filled with a biocompatible material called gutta percha which is placed in these areas to prevent bacteria from accessing the jawbone. Once completely filled, the entire tooth is covered with a custom crown to seal treatment and restore tooth structure.
Typically done in three appointments, root canal treatment removes the source of pain and discomfort by treating the decay.
Extraction is only necessary if the tooth cannot be saved by root canal therapy. Extraction is cheaper than root canal treatment as well. However, the side effects of bone loss and the shifting of smile alignment can greatly affect overall health and comfort. Restorations such as fixed bridges and dentures may be needed to maintain a uniform smile.
For more information about root canal treatment, tooth decay, and extraction, contact our office today to schedule a visit. We offer root canal treatments in order to save your natural tooth.