What You Do Not Know about Root Canals
The term root canal usually means two different but related things, depending on if you are talking to a medical professional or a lay person. When talking to a dentist, root canal means the nerve-carrying center of a tooth; a lay person will likely call the treatment procedure of that area a root canal, a process dentists call root canal therapy.
What Is A Root Canal
A tooth is primarily comprised of three main components, enamel, dentin, and pulp. The enamel, the hardest substance in the body, is the entire outside of the visible portion of a tooth. Beneath that is the dentin, a porous material that makes up most of the inner tooth and the root. In the middle of the dentin is something called pulp, a catch-all term that includes blood vessels, nerve endings, and other living connective tissue. The pulp runs from the very tip of the root (where it connects to the larger central nervous system) through the center of those roots to the middle of the tooth itself. The path is runs through is called the canal. Each tooth has between one and four of these canals.
What is Root Canal Therapy
When decay penetrates the enamel, the bacteria causing it make quick work through the dentin and start attacking the pulp. Because the pulp is live tissue connected to the rest of the body, this is where pain signals start firing. Your body tries to fight it off, which is the reason gums will start to swell and become red, but it’s a loosing battle. The bacteria infects the entire pulp, extending their attack into the base of the tooth. This is usually when patients begin to start to notice the pain the most. At that point, the only way to remove the infection is to clean out all of the pulp and disinfect the base. To do that, the dentist opens the top of the tooth and essentially vacuums the pulp out of the canals. The material, while needed during growth, is no longer needed as adults. This is the only way to remove the infection.
Learn more about them by contacting our root canal dentist in North Hollywood.
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