Laurel, MD Dentist Shares Common Reasons for Root Canals
Root canals are considered by many to be one of the worst things a person can experience. In truth, root canals are entirely painless and are one of the most tolerable procedures for almost all patients. Although they are dreaded, root canals serve a very important function that, in many cases, might just save your tooth from being extracted. In a nutshell, a root canal is a procedure in which the nerve of a tooth is removed. This may be done for a number of reasons. Here are 3 common reasons you might need a root canal.
An abscessed tooth is the most common reason root canals are performed. An abscess is an infection of dental pulp—the inner tissue of a tooth that includes the nerve and blood vessels. When bacteria invade the inside of a tooth and colonize the pulp, moderate to extreme pain can result due to the pressure buildup inside the tooth. In other cases, an abscess may be entirely painless due to the bacteria escaping into the nearby bone and tissue. Antibiotics can help with the symptoms of an abscess, but a root canal is the only way to remove the infection for good.
Deep or Large Cavity
If you have a large cavity that is deep within the tooth or close to the nerve, a root canal might be necessary even if there is no abscess or infection present. The reason for this is that, in order to fill the cavity, all diseased tooth structure must be removed. Sometimes removal of diseased tooth results in exposure of the nerve. Once this happens, a root canal is necessary since nerve exposure is not only painful but can lead to bacterial invasion of the pulp.
Severely Broken Tooth
Broken teeth are usually repairable either with a large filling or a crown, but sometimes teeth break in such a way that the nerve is exposed. Similar to the exposure that results in deep cavities, this instance requires removal of the pulp via root canal. In some cases, a root canal may be performed as a preventive measure or to ensure restorability of a tooth. For instance, if you have a tooth that is broken down to the gum line, it may be savable in some cases. Often times these situations call for a “post and core,” and apparatus that occupies the nerve space within the tooth. Obviously the nerve must be removed to make this possible.
Regardless of why you need a root canal, just remember that it should be painless and relatively easy. Most importantly, it is a procedure designed to save a tooth when it would otherwise have to be removed.
Time to schedule an appointment with your favorite Laurel, MD dentist? Give our office a call today at (301) 490-3993.