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    Root Canals

    What is a Root Canal?

    A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.

    “Root canal” is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal.

    A tooth’s nerve is not vitally important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory — to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.

    Why Does Tooth Pulp Need to Be Removed?

    When a tooth’s nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of the roots of the tooth. An abscess occurs when the infection spreads all the way past the ends of the roots of the tooth. In addition to an abscess, an infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause:

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    • Swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head
    • Bone loss around the tip of the root
    • Drainage problems extending outward from the root. A hole can occur through the side of the tooth with drainage into the gums or through the cheek with drainage into the skin.

    What Damages a Tooth’s Nerve and Pulp in the First Place?

    A tooth’s nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, and/or large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.

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    CLICK FOR COVID-19 & PRACTICE UPDATES

    Dear patients,

    We continue to closely monitor the situation regarding the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and take all necessary steps to follow the ADA, CDC and national guidelines. The ADA has the recommendation to close dental offices for two weeks time, we have decided to close our dental office now with the intent to re-open on Tuesday, March 31st (subject to change).

    Please be patient with our team as we work to keep everyone on schedule with their treatment.

    In the event of a dental emergency please call our office.

    Thank you for your understanding.

    • Terrell Hills Dental