Root Canal Treatment

By Jim Martinez

Your dentist uses root canal treatment to find the cause and then treat problems of the tooth's soft core (dental pulp). Years ago, teeth with diseased or injured pulps were removed. Today, root canal treatment has given dentists a safe way of saving teeth. The pulp is the soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. It lies within the tooth and extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the root in the bone of the jaws.

An abscessed (infected) tooth caused by tooth decay. When the pulp is diseased or injured and can't repair itself, it dies. The most common cause of pulp death is a cracked tooth or a deep cavity. Both of these problems can let germs (bacteria) enter the pulp. Germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. Left without treatment, pus builds up at the root tip, in the jawbone, forming a "pus-pocket" called an abscess. An abscess can cause damage to the bone around the teeth. When the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling can result. Certain byproducts of the infection can injure your jaw bones. Without treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.

Treatment often involves from one to three visits. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems of the pulp) removes the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are then cleaned and sealed.

Root canal treatment, also called root canal therapy is the removal of damaged or infected nerves and tissue from the inside of your tooth.

Inside the root of every tooth is a nerve, with pulp surrounding and protecting the nerve and a blood supply that extends out the end of the root to your circulatory system. This space inside the root is called the canal space.

Root canal treatment allows you to keep a tooth you would otherwise have to have pulled. When there is infection inside the tooth, there is no cure. The bacteria will continue to spread to the nerve and surrounding tissue.

Many people wonder why medications, like antibiotics, cannot cure the infection. The fact is that the tissues swell, cutting off the blood supply so there is no way to get the medication to the area. Yes, they can help surrounding tissue, but cannot reach the inside of the tooth.

Without proper treatment, a diseased tooth will abscess and become a life threatening situation. With your brain only inches away from your tooth, there have been cases of systemic infection that resulted in death.

Root canal treatment is one of life's most dreaded procedures. Although most root canals done today are pain free, their bad reputation has not been forgotten.

The idea behind having root canal treatment is that it provides the bulk of the clean up work for your body. It removes bacteria and tissue irritants that are present inside the tooth, especially those in the locations where your body would have the most trouble combating them. An end result, once root canal treatment has been completed it provides your body with an environment where its mechanisms are able to clear away any residual bacteria and tissue irritants that may still be present, thus allowing complete healing (resolution) of the inflammation) to occur.

About the author
Jim Martinez is a National Sales Director with Ameriplan USA ®. Offering discount dental and health plans for individuals or households. Any age or prexisting conditions are accepted and plans start at only $11.95 per month. Be sure to visit the section on health articles for more quality information. You are free to reproduce this article as long as you reprint the entire article including this resource box and all links.