What Exactly is a Root Canal?
Chances are you've probably heard of a root canal before. However, you may not understand what a root canal is or when it is necessary. While a root canal is a very common procedure, it is nothing to be taken lightly.
Let's take a look at a few basic things you should know about root canals.
What is a Root Canal?
If your tooth has become infected or is badly decayed, your dentist may recommend you have a root canal. This is a procedure to remove the pulp and nerve of the tooth, cleaning out the inside and sealing it off. This can prevent the infection from spreading into the surrounding tooth.
A root canal will not affect the function of the tooth. However, by removing the root, the tooth will no longer be able to feel hot or cold sensations.
What Happens If the Tooth Pulp Is Not Removed?
Unfortunately, if your pulp or the nerve tissue of your tooth is damaged, it won't repair alone. If you do not remove the infected pulp, it can breed bacteria which can spread to the areas surrounding the tooth.
An untreated infection may cause swelling in the face, neck, or head, or may even cause bone loss around the tip of the tooth root. In serious cases, drainage problems may also occur, causing the infection to drain into the skin.
How Does a Tooth Nerve and Pulp Become Damaged?
A root canal is a serious procedure, so it is best to take precautionary steps to ensure the tooth nerve and pulp do not become damaged. In most cases, damage can occur from trauma to the face, a crack or a chip in the tooth, deep tooth decay, or a large filling. Nerve damage can also occur if you have repeated dental treatments to the same tooth.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is always the first step in ensuring your teeth remain healthy. Making routine trips to your dentist can help you stay on track. If you're due for an appointment with Dr. Langer, call our Brooklyn Cosmetic Dentistry office at 718.395.5935.