When is root canal therapy needed?
In the very center of every tooth is something called the pulp. The pulp consists of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue – soft tissues that can be damaged by tooth decay, fractures or trauma. Because the pulp does not repair itself very well, if those issues cause injury to the pulp, the pulp tissues usually die, causing pain and infection. In order to keep those things from happening, or to treat them if they occur, root canal therapy is performed. While this procedure is normally performed by an endodontist, a dentist who specializes in root canals, we have been trained to do root canal therapy and perform them nearly every day in our office. The dentist or endodontist will remove the pulp, clean out the interior of the tooth, and fill it. In the worst cases, if the decay and damage to the pulp is extreme, the tooth may require extraction. The best way to avoid pain and infection is to maintain a good regimen of home care, brushing and flossing, and visiting your dentist at least twice a year.
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