Root canal FAQs

Jan 10, 2017, by Dr. Becky Coats

root canals Grapevine dentistRoot canal treatment is a common approach used to save a tooth that has been damaged or become infected. Many people have heard of this treatment, but aren’t sure how it works or what to expect. It’s important to know that treating an infected tooth in this way can help you save a tooth that might otherwise require extraction.

What is a root canal? The root canal is technically the chamber on the inside of the tooth where the tooth pulp is located. The pulp is the soft interior of the tooth and consists of capillaries, nerve tissue, and connective tissue. It provides nutrients to the tooth and helps it transmit sensation such as temperature and pressure.

What is root canal treatment? Root canal treatment involves drilling a hole in the tooth and removing all the infected pulp tissue from inside it. This includes the nerve tissue. After the tooth has been thoroughly cleaned and sterilized, it is filled with a special resin that helps maintain structural integrity. To further support the treated tooth, it is fitted with a dental crown. After a root canal treatment, that individual tooth will no longer be able to sense temperature or pressure, but it will still be functional.

Why would I need root canal treatment? If your tooth has been broken off, cracked, or otherwise damaged, bacteria can enter the pulp, leading to infection. Symptoms of infection in a tooth include toothache and extreme sensitivity. A visit to your dentist or endodontist for treatment can eliminate the discomfort and allow you to keep your tooth.

Are there other treatments for an infected tooth? Your dentist might prescribe antibiotics if the infection does not seem severe, or to reduce the infection before performing a root canal. Once the pulp has become infected, though, root canal therapy is often the best treatment option.

Contact us at the office of Dr. Becky Coats today to schedule your exam!