The root canal procedure performed by Dr. Thomas A. Brennan in Warren, MI is an endodontic therapy utilized by your dentist to address conditions affecting the pulp of a tooth, such as infection, damage, or decay. Root canals are quite common. The pulp of the tooth is made up of connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves, all of which are removed during the root canal procedure.
In a healthy tooth, blood flow through healthy tissues helps maintain the strength, durability, and hydration of the tooth, supporting its ability to chew without sustaining the damage that some more difficult foods might inflict. The nerves in the tooth provide temperature and pressure sensitivity.
When a root canal procedure becomes necessary, it is because damage has been sustained to the pulp and/or the nerve, and they must be removed. This condition is often extremely painful, however with an array of anesthetic techniques, the procedure need not be. After anesthetizing and disinfecting the area, and putting a rubber dam in place to protect the rest of the mouth, the dentist will remove a portion of the tooth using a dental drill in order to expose the pulp. Next, with dental files, the pulp and the nerves are “cleaned out.” This procedure can take time, as it is necessary to clean the tooth completely through the tooth roots, of which there can be several. It is necessary to make sure that no part of the tooth is overlooked in the process, as any material remaining inside the tooth can result in further infection.
Once the pulp is removed and the interior of the tooth is disinfected, the hollow of the tooth is filled with a sealant paste to ensure that debris stays out, and to add reinforcement to the tooth’s function. The access hole through which the procedure is performed is closed up with a filling, or capped off with a crown. While the tooth may become brittle over time, affixing a crown can protect the rest of the tooth from further damage.
The procedure restores the functionality of the tooth, allowing the patient to keep as much of their own teeth as possible, and eliminates the pain resulting from the damage of the tooth. Additionally, the procedure is less costly than restoration alternatives that may require bridges, dentures or implants. Good oral hygiene will help preserve the root canal work, as well as averting the contributing factors that may make such procedures necessary down the road.