What is a Root Canal?

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Root canal in wilmington north carolina therapy is the treatment of the canals within the root of a tooth and is usually performed by an Endodontist. Inside the canals, there is a very small line of pulp that serves as the nerve for the tooth. Removing damaged or infected pulp brings relief to the patient and is a more ideal alternative to extracting a tooth, saving a tooth that would have otherwise be lost. After the infected or damaged pulp is removed, the canals and access hole are filled with a temporary material until a Dentist can restore the tooth with a permanent restoration.

Things that may cause damage to a pulp include a cracked tooth, a deep cavity or injury to the actual tooth itself. If you are knocked in the mouth, the damage a tooth incurs can affect the pulp in the days following or even years later. Left untreated, an abscess can form at the root tip in the jawbone from a build-up of pus.

How is a Root Canal Done?

Having a root canal is actually a pretty simple process. Anterior teeth can usually be completed in a single visit but molars may take two.

The Endodontist drills a hole in the tooth to gain access to the canals. Small cylindrical files are used to remove the infected pulp from the tooth and the canals are cleaned and irrigated. An antimicrobial agent is usually placed in the canal to protect the tooth from further infection.

A temporary rubbery material called gutta-percha is used to fill the now-empty canals and a temporary filling is placed in the access hole. These help keep the compromised tooth clean and protected until your dentist can remove them and place a permanent core build-up and composite filling or crown to secure the tooth structure.

Sometimes a tooth that already has a crown needs root canal therapy. In this case, the Endodontist will drill through the crown and do their best to save the crown so you do not have to get a new one. If the crown does not crack, the access hole can still be closed with a simple filling. If the crown does crack or if the tooth itself is fractured, a new crown will need to be placed.

How Long Will the Restored Tooth Last?

With proper care and regular dental check-ups, a root canal treated tooth can last for the rest of your life. A treated tooth can still develop decay so your dentist may decide to x-ray the treated tooth a little more frequently than your others.

Root canal treated teeth do not have the pulp that fed blood to the tooth so, over time, the tooth can become brittle. If it did not have a crown at the time of treatment, you may need one down the road.

More on Root Canals : How Long Does a Root Canal Take?