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The Implant Dentist In Chicago Explains Root Canal Therapy, Part 1
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We all think we know what root canal therapy is. Unfortunately, if you ask Chicago residents what it is they do know about it, they’ll tell you: “it’s an incredibly painful dental procedure.” This is just not the reality. Root canal therapy is done to save the life of a tooth that has become damaged or decayed and would otherwise need to be extracted. In other words, it helps Chicago residents keep their natural dentition intact and prevents the need for costly restorative procedures, such as dental implants.
In this four-part article series, an experienced “All On Four” dentist in Chicago explains the A-Z of root canal therapy, looking at popular questions, including: “What is root canal therapy?” “When is it needed?” “Is it painful?” and “What will recovery be like?”
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Endodontics is the field of dentistry concerned with conditions and diseases that affect the delicate collection of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue that is housed within a tooth. Endo means “inside” and dont means “tooth”. If you recall your 8th grade biology lessons, you will remember that a natural tooth consists of a hard layer of enamel overlying softer, more porous dentine. In the heart of the tooth lies the pulp chamber where all the soft tissues are housed. Blood vessels and nerves run the length of the small canals inside the roots, connecting the tooth to the jawbone.
“The dental enamel is supposed to protect the entire tooth structure from bacteria,” explains an experienced implant dentist in Chicago. “And while the enamel is the hardest substance in the body, it is not invulnerable. Should the tooth become cracked, chipped or decayed, bacteria can find a way into the pulp chamber, leading to a very painful infection. Root canal therapy is performed to eliminate internal infection and restore the tooth to its previous integrity.”
What Necessitates Root Canal Therapy?
“There are really two main reasons your dentist may recommend endodontic treatment of a tooth,” says the implant dentist in Chicago. “Infection or physical damage”…
Untreated dental cavities are the most common reason bacteria get into a tooth and infect the pulp chamber. Once safely inside, bacteria can multiply without restraint (since your toothbrush cannot reach them anymore) and the acidic wastes they produce inflame and infect the pulp. Infection also reduces blood flow to the tooth, which compromises its ability to heal.
“Treating this kind of infection with antibiotics is futile,” explains the “All On Four” dentist in Chicago. “Since the pulp chamber is encased by the hard tooth structure, there’s no way for it to push the diseased tissue out, as the rest of the body does with infection. Once infection has set in, the only remaining option is a root canal. It’s that or tooth extraction.”
Damage to the Pulp Chamber
The second most common reason Chicago implant dentists recommend endodontic therapy is for the treatment of teeth that have sustained damage that has exposed the pulp chamber, leaving it vulnerable to bacteria. This damage can be caused by:
1. Physical trauma sustained in, for example, a car accident or sports game.
2. A fractured tooth, which might be caused by tooth grinding or biting down hard on an olive pit.
3. A tooth that has undergone a lot of restoration and repeat fillings.
4. Preparing a tooth to receive a crown also comes with the risk of accidentally exposing the pulp chamber, in which case a root canal may need to be done to avoid infection.
Stay Tuned for Part 2
Stay tuned next week for the second installment of this four part article series to find out just why root canal therapy is so important and what the signs and symptoms you may need one are.
Rooden Salle is a writer with a postgraduate degree in science and a passion for writing. Using her advanced insights, he writes about all manner of topics including Dentistry & Oral Health.
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