Root canal. The very words can invoke fear in people and spur them to flee to the hills,
far away from any dentist office. But root canals are not as bad as their frightening reputation would lead us to
For a quick refresher, “endo” is Greek for “inside” and “odont” means “tooth.” Put them
together and endodontic treatment is the process of treating the inside of the tooth. Root canals are a type of
endodontic treatment. A quick look at a tooth’s anatomy can help further understand how root canals work.
Underneath the white enamel and hard layer of dentin on our teeth is soft tissue pulp.
This pulp is full of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that combine to create harder surrounding tissue
of a tooth as it develops.
Pulp is critical as a tooth grows and develops. The pulp extends all the way from the
tooth’s crown to the root tips, connecting there with surrounding tissue. After a tooth emerges through the gum and
fully matures, it doesn’t need the pulp for continued health and function as the surrounding tissue provides
nourishment. In fact, tooth nerves at this point only offer sensory services in detecting hot and cold.
A root’s canals, in turn, start at the tip of a tooth root and reach into the pulp
chamber. This is a very strong and efficient system but a tooth weakens somewhat and becomes more susceptible to
fracture after a root canal procedure.
If the pulp inside a root’s canal becomes infected or inflamed, it must be treated to
repair the immediate problem and avert further, more severe issues. Reasons leading to root canal treatment
Clinical reasons for root canal treatment are many, including infection from inflamed
pulp leading to abscess; however, there are also many other reasons to try to save your natural teeth. Proper
endodontic treatment lets you continue eating your favorite foods, keep your glowing smile, maintain an overall
healthy oral aura, and drastically reduce the need for continued dental work. In fact, teeth treated with root
canals typically last a lifetime and that is peace of mind, indeed.
The short answer is yes. Damaged pulp breaks down and when that happens, bacteria starts
multiplying inside the pulp chamber and along with deteriorating pulp remnants, can cause infection, plenty of pain,
and abscessed teeth.
On top of that, an infected root canal can induce swelling that can spread to your neck,
head, and other areas of the face. Drainage issues can also develop from the root, starting with a hole forming in
the side of the tooth, causing liquid to drain into the gums or even through the cheek and into surrounding skin.
Severe root canal infections can also lead to bone loss near the root’s tip.
Fortunately, root canal treatment is highly effective at resolving unfavorable scenarios
It sounds complicated but root canal treatment is relatively straightforward. Inflamed or
infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is then thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and then filled and
The treatment removes bacteria from the root’s canal, prevents future infection, and
greatly increases chances of saving your natural teeth instead of replacing with artificial.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is a good idea to visit your
dentist for a consultation and potentially schedule treatment.
cold item (beverages, for example) has been removed
Other times, oral issues sneak up on you with no symptoms at all, until the problem is
In all cases, be vigilant with oral care and get regular checkups.
For more information on root canal procedures, contact Beach City Dental at (714)
406-1691 or beachcitydental.com.