Your teeth contain several layers: the outer protective enamel, a secondary layer of dentin, and an inner soft ‘pulp’ tissue layer containing the nerves, veins, arteries and lymph vessels. Each pulp chamber branches off at the top, forming ‘canals’ that lead toward the tooth root tip. These infamous ‘root canals’ serve to facilitate the ongoing activities within the tooth. However, a deep cavity, traumatic injury, or tooth fracture can open the canal up to bacterial infection, killing the pulp, stimulating increased blood flow, and creating tremendous pressure build-up within the tooth. This results in severe pain and may initiate bone degeneration, tooth loss, and even more acute pain. All of which simply underlines the importance of contacting us at the first sign of pain or soreness in any of your teeth. If it’s early enough along in the disease process, we can test the problem tooth and recommend root canal therapy.
Will root canal therapy hurt? Not with today’s advanced analgesics and technology. In fact, the entire process can be virtually free of discomfort and often requires only one appointment. We simply clean out the diseased area, fill the canal with a biologically inert substance, seal it from further infection, and you’re on your way. While some patients experience post-procedural soreness or slight tissue inflammation, these are controllable with over the counter analgesics. Follow up care is simply to maintain thorough home hygiene and visit our office regularly for cleanings and check-ups.