What is a Root Canal?

Each tooth has an opening in the root of the tooth that the nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth to form the pulp tissue.  The channels through which the nerves and blood vessels travel through are called canals.  When the tooth is traumatized and the nerve and blood vessel connection is severed, the living tissue in the tooth, the pulp tissue, dies.  If decay progresses deep enough to reach the pulp tissue, the bacteria that causes decay attacks the pulp tissue and it becomes infected.  If left untreated, this infection destroys the pulp tissue and can spread beyond the tooth and form an abcess, or drainage tract through the supporting bone.

The most common symptoms of a tooth needing a root canal are: 1)  a gum boil on the gums that looks like a pimple on the gum tissue, or mucosa; 2)  the tooth being extremely sensitive to hot, or cold.  This sensitivity will usually last 20 to 30 minutes.  3)  If a tooth has been traumatized, the tooth will darken, or turn gray.  This is an indication that the nerve and blood vessels have been severed and the tooth needs root canal t herapy.

Root canal therapy is the process of removing the dead and dying pulp tissue and any infection inside the tooth.  This is done by using a series of round files to remove the infected tissue and infection.  The inside of the tooth is then dried using sterile paper points.  The next step is to seal the inside of the tooth off from the tip of the root , the apex, to the top of the pulp chamber.  This prevents the bacteria from re-entering the tooth and re-abcessing.  Most root canals are about 95% effective.

Once the root canal is finished, the tooth will become brittle and can break apart.  Every tooth that has had a root canal should have a permanent crown placed within 6 months to prevent the tooth from breaking.  I had a root canal done on a front tooth and every dentist I saw said it did not need a crown.  When the tooth finally broke, it broke in such a way that the tooth had to be extracted and a bridge done to replace it.

If you have any questions for me, please e-mail me at drmax@drmaxwood.com.


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Hello Doctor,
I am glad i found your comment. I had root canal done 4-5 months ago and today that tooth broke apart. I read that if the doctor did not fit the root canal correct, it caused my tooth to break.
Is this correct. Please send me your comment to my email.
Thank you,
Josefina

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comment_type != "trackback" && $comment->comment_type != "pingback" && !ereg("", $comment->comment_content) && !ereg("", $comment->comment_content)) { ?>

Hello Doctor,
I am glad i found your comment. I had root canal done 4-5 months ago and today that tooth broke apart. I read that if the doctor did not fit the root canal correct, it caused my tooth to break.
Is this correct. Please send me your comment to my email.
Thank you,
Josefina

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