Root Canal Treatment
A human tooth is comprised of one or several roots, neck and a crown. Its early development starts at the center of the crown where a lot of building cells are located along with blood vessels and nerve endings, called the pulp. These cells lay back enamel and dentin that forms a tooth from within. Last part of a tooth to be formed is the tip of the root- called apex. The fully formed tooth has a network of root canals that feed into pulp chamber to provide blood supply and innervation to the pulpal cells.
When the tooth is attacked by dental decay or traumatized, the cells within it can necrotize (die) and cause infection. This infection may or may not elicit pain. In dentistry, we use terms symptomatic and asymptomatic pulpal necrosis. The fact that your tooth is not bothering you does not necessarily means that it is healthy. On the other hand, pulpal infection on early stages may cause severe pain, that can be explained by the nerve endings being squeezed by a rushed blood within very tiny confined chamber giving a patient feeling of a “heartbeat within a tooth”.
One way or the other, after confirming diagnosis your Dentist may recommend a Root Canal Treatment. This treatment may be broken down into several steps:
- opening access to the pulp chamber and canals;
- removing necrotizing tissue and cells;
- filing and shaping canals to permanently seal them with the inert body-friendly material (gutta-percha).
Filling of a Root Canal demands a lot of skill and is time-consuming. Usual Root Canal Treatment appointment may last from one and a half to two hours. Sometimes root canals pose challenges such as canal closures (sclerosis), ledges, splitting of the canals or extreme canal curvatures requiring additional appointments or referral to an Endodontic specialist to complete the treatment.
Once successfully treated teeth that had a Root Canal Treatment may be retained and function for many years.