Root Canal Therapy:

Many tooth problems, such as deep decay, traumatic injury,  and cracked tooth syndrome can involve infections or irritations that spread to the pulp,  which is the inner chamber of the tooth containing blood vessels, nerves and other tissues.

When the infection or irritation becomes more severe, it can begin causing pain.  The diseased inner tooth brings a host of problems; pain and sensitivity are some of the first indications of a problem; but inside, a spreading infection can cause small pockets of pus to develop, leading to an abscess.

All about the teeth:

Teeth are not solid objects. Inside every tooth there lies a hollow space that contains its nerve tissue. Dentists use the following terms to refer to various portions of this nerve space:

A) The pulp chamber:  This is the hollow area that lies, more or less, in the center of the tooth's crown (that part of the tooth positioned above its gum line).

B) The root canals:   A tooth's root canals run from the apex (tip) of its root up to its pulp chamber.

The layout of the nerve space inside different types of teeth is quite different. Teeth always have at least one pulp chamber but the number of individual root canals that they have can vary widely.  Teeth can have either 1, 2, or 3 roots (but they can have more). Each root typically contains 1 canal, but specific roots of some teeth are well known for frequently having 2 or more canals.

Upper front incisors (center front teeth), typically have just one root and one root canal. In comparison, most upper molars have 3 roots and and frequently 4 canals.

  HOw3HowHow many visits will it take?

Root canal therapy usually entails one to three visits. During the first visit, a small hole is drilled through the top of the tooth and into the inner chamber. Diseased tissue is removed, the inner chamber cleansed and disinfected, and the tiny canals reshaped. The cleansed chamber and canals are filled with an elastic material and medication designed to prevent infection. If necessary, the drilled hole is temporarily filled until a permanent seal is made with a crown.

Most patients who have root canal experience little or no discomfort or pain, and enjoy a restored tooth that can last almost as long as its healthy original.