Root Canal Therapy: What It Is and Why Its Important

A woman shows off her smileWe at Wildflower Dental & Orthodontics believe in providing the best possible dental care to the people of Frisco. To accomplish this, we offer the latest in general dentistry, the best in smile enhancing cosmetic dentistry, and advanced restorative dentistry treatments that enhance dental health and wellness. This comprehensive approach to dental care yields ideal results.

Our team is also committed to proper patient education since patients are better able to make good choices about their dental health if they have all the facts at their disposal. Since root canal therapy is so misunderstood by people outside of the dental profession, we’d like to go over some of the basics of endodontic care.

The Anatomy of a Tooth

Within each tooth is a hollow chamber that contains a substance known as dental pulp. This dental pulp is essential for the health and nourishment of the tooth as it initially develops, containing connective tissue and nerve endings that lead into the tooth root itself. The pulp is protected by the inner dentin layer of the tooth, which is covered by the outermost enamel layer of the tooth’s surface.

The primary function of this dental pulp is the formation of the dentin during tooth development, though the dental pulp also helps provide the tooth with nutrients and moisture and aid in the detection of high or low temperatures and pressure placed on the teeth.

Reasons Dental Pulp May Become Infected

While this dental pulp is not exposed in the mouth, it can become infected, causing major discomfort and pain. Usually the infection of the dental pulp is caused by advanced tooth decay, tooth damage, or tooth injury. In these cases, the bacteria is able to access the internal chamber of the tooth.

In order to alleviate pain and save the infected tooth from extraction, root canal therapy is necessary.

Is root canal therapy as painful as its reputation?

No. Modern pain management has made the discomfort from root canal manageable. Discomfort will occur, particularly when a patient recovers from the root canal, but this level of soreness is preferable to the pain that is related to infection of the dental pulp.

What to Expect from Root Canal Therapy

During root canal therapy, patients will be given local anesthetic and will likely be sedated as well. This will allow them to relax during the procedure.

Your dentist (or an endodontic specialist) will carefully drill the tooth to access the pulp chamber. The dental pulp is completely removed and the hollowed chamber is thoroughly sterilized. An inert material will eventually be placed into the hollowed chamber, and the treated tooth will be capped with a restoration.

Recovering from Root Canal Therapy

Patients will notice soreness and discomfort in the first days after root canal therapy, which is normal. This pain can be addressed using recommended medications which should be only taken as directed. Patients are advised to eat soft foods and drink beverages that are room temperature in order to prevent undue discomfort. When possible, patients should avoid chewing or biting with the tooth that has been treated.

As the days progress, patients will notice diminished discomfort and that they are able to eat normal foods with greater ease.

Learn More About Root Canal Therapy

For more information about root canal therapy and how it can help you achieve the best possible dental health, be sure to contact our dental care center today. The team at Wildflower Dental & Orthodontics looks forward to meeting you in person and going over all of your options for advanced dental wellness.