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Root canal therapy is needed when a breach in the enamel of a tooth has occurred allowing bacteria to permeate this tough dental surface that results in an infection.

Dental decay, a broken tooth or trauma resulting in damage to a tooth can lead to infection. There may be no symptoms to indicate a root canal is needed. But when a tooth aches, there is sensitivity to hot or cold or swelling is present, a dentist should be consulted to discuss appropriate treatment.

There are cases when the offending tooth must be identified as there is discomfort and swelling in a region of the mouth. The dentist may use the tap test where the teeth are lightly tapped to identify which tooth causes a reaction. Or a shot of cold air may be used as sensitivity to temperature due to nerve exposure can point out which tooth needs treatment.

Once the tooth is identified an x-ray is taken. The x-ray is needed so the number of roots and their exact position are revealed. All roots must be treated to rid the tooth of the infection. Any infection left behind can lead to an abscess, which is a pocket of infectious material located at the base of the tooth.

A root canal is a process by which the contents of the tooth’s root canal consisting of the nerve, pulp tissue, and blood are removed. Before starting, the tooth is segregated through the use of a rubber dam. This is needed to keep the area dry and prevent the possibility of swallowing anything being removed. Suction is applied throughout the procedure.

An access point is drilled into the tooth and specialized tools are used to literally wrap the contents of the root around the instrument so they can be removed and discarded.

Once all roots have been treated, the canals are flushed. In some cases, the dentist may wish to place a temporary seal over the tooth. Others may be permanently sealed the same day. Before the seal is placed, the roots are packed with material to fill the root canals to provide stability to better support the repaired tooth.

Although it has a negative reputation, root canal treatment is often a relatively simple procedure that is highly effective at preserving your natural tooth.

For additional information, contact Fielder Park Dental at 817-275-4817 today.