What Root Canal Treatment Means

A tooth’s nerves and blood vessels are housed in a chamber at its center, called the pulp. When the tooth’s main structure, called dentin, is compromised, it can leave the pulp exposed, and the tissues become vulnerable to infection. For instance, if a cavity isn’t treated in time, the decay that causes it can eventually reach the pulp. Or, if a tooth suffers a crack or fracture, the pulp can be immediately exposed, and internal tooth infection may be imminent. Root canal treatment describes the process of sanitizing a tooth’s infected pulp, and then cleaning and sealing the root canal connected to it to prevent the infection from spreading even further.

Do You Need Root Canal Treatment?

Treating a cavity as soon as it’s discovered is one way to avoid root canal treatment. If the cavity is still confined to the dentin, then a tooth filling can stop it from reaching the pulp. However, if Dr. Darlington recommends root canal treatment, then it could mean that your tooth is compromised enough to be lost or need tooth extraction soon.

After a thorough dental examination, Dr. Darlington can help you determine if root canal treatment is necessary. If so, then you can schedule an appointment for the procedure, which can typically be completed in just one visit. During the procedure, you can opt for dental sedation to help you relax, in addition to the local anesthesia that will numb your tooth.

Because root canal treatment means removing a larger portion of your tooth structure than a dental filling, Dr. Darlington may suggest placing a dental crown over the tooth after the root canal treatment is completed.