How a Root Canal Can Save Your Tooth

Gum disease, tooth decay, and trauma threaten the integrity of your teeth. A root canal is one way you can prevent these factors from destroying your smile.

At Zhao Dental Corporation, Shirley Zhao, DDS can help if you develop an infection that endangers your teeth. If Dr. Zhao suggests you need a root canal, don’t panic. The procedure itself is relatively simple and saves your tooth, which is an ideal outcome.

Keep reading to learn how a root canal can preserve your tooth and why that matters.

Why you might need a root canal

The hard, outer portion of your tooth houses a soft interior known as the pulp. This pulp is composed of blood vessels, nerves, and critical connective tissues.

When an infection sets into the pulp, it can wreak havoc on the tissues inside, often leading to a painful infection. These bacteria can slowly eat away at the internal structures, if left unchecked, which can threaten your entire tooth, even down to its roots.

This infection has the potential to spread to other teeth or even your jaw, which is a disaster for your oral health. But, even if you just lose the one infected tooth, it has a serious impact on your other teeth.

Losing a tooth means you lose everything, including the roots that anchor it to the jawbone.  These roots are secured by bone that’s constantly regenerating itself to keep your tooth stable.

Without a tooth, your body is missing the stimulation and fails to renew the bone in the area. This can lead to bone deterioration, which may cause neighboring teeth to shift.

Your smile shifts as well. When you lose bone, your jaw becomes less defined and the skin on the outer area of your mouth grows slack.

In other words, a simple infection inside your tooth can quickly become a major issue with our intervention. Plus, the pain of a decaying tooth is enough to get you into the dental chair to repair your smile!

A root canal solution

Root canals are the butt of many jokes and may sound like a long, involved, and painful procedure. In reality, the process is pretty simple and tooth-saving.

Dr. Zhao makes you comfortable with a local anesthetic, so you feel nothing except for minor pressure during the procedure. She then drills a small hole in the tooth to access the interior and clears out the infected pulp. The pulp is vitally important as your tooth emerges through the gums, but once your tooth is mature, it can function and feel normal without this pulp.

After thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the canal, she then fills in the area with a rubber-like compound called gutta percha. The gutta percha should prevent bacteria from making its way inside again to cause pain, infection, and tooth loss.

Once your root canal is complete, the Dr. Zhao covers the vulnerable tooth with a crown. A crown is made from porcelain or another viable compound that looks and feels just like your natural tooth.

Though your tooth may ache slightly for a day or two following the root canal, discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. This slight discomfort is far less than you were likely enduring prior to the root canal and is a small price to pay for your long-term oral health.

We want people in Tracy and Pleasanton, California, to have the best possible oral health. If you think you might need a root canal, contact Zhao Dental Corporation today. Call or use the online tool to schedule an appointment. 

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