For unknown reasons, root canals have gotten a reputation for being a long, drawn-out and painful procedure. However, this myth could not be farther from the truth. Root canals are actually a relatively painless and quick procedure with many more pros than cons. Find out more with help from your Lubbock, TX dentist at Hill-Davis Dental Group.
What is a root canal?
A root canal, known medically as endodontic treatment, removes infected tissue from inside a tooth and replaces it with filling material. The tissue, called pulp, becomes inflamed due to a number of reasons, including trauma or tooth decay. The pulp lies underneath the tooth’s outer enamel and dentin layers, inside of the tooth. The procedure itself is very similar to a simple dental filling and usually only takes one or two visits.
When is a root canal necessary?
Your Lubbock dentist’s number one concern, in any case, is to save the natural tooth; a root canal allows the tooth to remain in place rather requiring extraction. This is possible because the surrounding tissues are enough to nourish a developed tooth once the nerve and pulp is removed. Avoiding extraction allows you to keep your natural bite, allowing chewing and speaking to remain normal and maintaining a natural appearance with no gaps. Root canals are often necessary for the following situations:
- Toothache: Normally, a toothache means tooth decay has reached the inner chamber of the tooth. Pain is often a signal that the tooth’s pulp has become infected and should be removed. It can also be a sign that the tooth’s nerve has become damaged or exposed due to trauma.
- Abscess: An abscessed tooth forms when the tooth’s inner pulp dies off and becomes infected with bacteria. The body sends white blood cells to that area, forming a pus pocket. This will usually appear as a large, fluid-filled lump on the gums.
- Cavity: When a cavity caused by tooth decay reaches far enough into the tooth to infect the pulp, the tooth requires a root canal.
For more information on root canals, please contact Dr. Jimmy D. Hill and Dr. Camie G. Davis at Hill-Davis Dental Group in Lubbock, TX. Call (806) 793-0651 to schedule your dental examination today!