Root Canal FAQ
There are soft tissues and nerve endings in the core of the tooth. When these tissues become inflamed or infected, they have to be removed before the entire tooth decays and infects the surrounding tissue. The endodontic procedure
for removing this infected tissue from the root of the tooth is called a root canal
. Orofacial injuries can traumatize the root and nerve endings of the tooth and cause an abscess.
What Are the Symptoms of an Infected Tooth?
The symptoms of an infected tooth include swollen tender gums, pimples on the gums, darkened or discolored gums, and pain while chewing or biting. Chipped or cracked teeth can damage the nerves and create space for harmful bacteria to enter the pulp. Teeth that have infected tissue, abscesses, or decay will be very sensitive to temperature and cause severe pain in the mouth. Trust our team of endodontists at Carolina Mountain Endodontics with your restorative procedure.
What is the Anatomy of the Tooth?
The outer layer of the tooth is called the enamel. Enamel is an extremely durable tissue. It is translucent and porcelain in color. Enamel protects the tooth from harmful bacteria and helps you chew tough foods without breaking down. Under the enamel is the dentin. Dentin builds up the body of the tooth. It can appear gray or yellow in color and that color will change with age.
Why is Tooth Pulp Important?
Under the dentin is the pulp, the core of the tooth composed of soft tissues, blood vessels, and the tooth's nerve. These nerves and blood vessels supply the tooth with nutrients during its formation. When the nerve of a tooth dies from external decay, or decay caused by an abscess, the nerve and pulp have to be removed. Although the nerve and blood vessels brought the tooth vital nutrients during its development, once it's fully formed it no longer needs them for nutrients.
How Long Will a Root Canal Take?
Our endodontists at Carolina Mountain Endodontics complete a root canal usually in a span of two to three sessions.
You will have a dental exam to begin the procedure. A root canal is safe
, but it will not save a tooth that is severely decayed. If you are eligible for the root canal, a radiograph of the infected tooth is taken with an x-ray.
Learn more about the myths of root canals
What is the Process for a Root Canal?
After the x-ray your dentist will administer an anesthetic, numbing the tooth and surrounding tissues. The tooth has to be isolated from moisture with a small protective sheet called a dental dam. It is placed around the tooth and held in place with a bracket. With the tooth numbed, the dentist makes a hole in the crown of the tooth. The infected pulp is removed from the tooth's root using small thin instruments and a space is made in the chamber of the tooth. If the tooth has an abscess the pus will be drained before removing the pulp. When the tooth is clean, the roots are filled with a biocompatible material.
Will I Need a Crown or Filling?
A crown or filling will be placed over the sealed tooth to complete the root canal and aftercare instructions
will be given.
How Can I Prevent the Need for a Root Canal?
Regular cleanings with one of our dentists every six months can help prevent the need for this treatment.
Call us at (828) 627-1999 today to schedule a dental exam or cleaning.