When Are Root Canals Necessary?

When a tooth is badly infected or decayed, sometimes it’s best to perform a root canal in order to save the remains of the tooth so that it doesn’t have to be extracted. A root canal involves the process of where a tooth’s nerves and pulp, which are too badly infected, are removed. Though this technically kills the teeth, since the nerves are removed, it helps keep the rest of the tooth intact so that it can continue to be used in the future.

What is the tooth’s pulp?

The tooth’s pulp is a soft portion located in the root canal of your teeth. This location is also where the tooth’s nerves are, which helps provide sensory details to your teeth, such as the sensation of heat or cold. The reason that root canals work is that the nerves of the tooth are not necessary for the function or health of your teeth once it has fully emerged. Without this part of the tooth, you are still fully able to use your teeth to chew and bite without any downsides. When a tooth’s nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria begins to multiply in the pulp chamber. This bacteria can cause infection, which begins to spread throughout your entire tooth. If severe enough, it can cause the loss of the entire tooth, which is why root canals are necessary. The inside pulp cannot be saved, but the rest of your tooth can.

How does the root canal procedure work?

First, we will determine if a root canal is necessary. If it is, then we will drill a hole in your tooth and remove the infected pulp and nerve tissue inside your tooth using special root canal files. Once all of the pulp is removed and your tooth is thoroughly cleaned, we will seal your tooth, filling in the interior of your tooth with a compound that will replace the pulp of your tooth. Finally, if necessary, we will follow up with dental restorations, if your tooth has been decayed enough to warrant it.

Paramount Dental Center is located in Kirkland.