Getting to the Root of the Matter

Root canals are the treatment of the pulp tissue of the tooth, more commonly referred to as the nerve tissue. If this tissue begins to degenerate, it can cause painful inflammation. The purpose of the root canal is to help make the nerve tissue healthy again to avoid the possibility of this inflammation.

The root canal treatment involves first removing the bacteria, nerve tissue, organic debris left over by the decay of the nerve tissue, and bacterial toxins as thoroughly as possible from the inner area of the tooth. After this step has been completed, the space is filled in and the inner tooth is sealed off so as to minimize the possibility of the bacteria re-colonizing in the tooth. If the root canal is not performed, the bacterial infection will eventually cause an acute tooth abscess.

Root canals have a reputation for being extremely painful, one which dentists claim is unfairly earned. As a matter of fact, for the average person, a root canal is no more painful or uncomfortable than having a filling placed. Many root canals could even be performed without using an anesthetic, because the majority of the nerve tissue is dead. This does not mean, however, that you should expect for no anesthetic to be used! As a matter of fact, your dentist most likely will numb the area before commencing with the procedure, especially if the patient requests it.

Anterior root canals are generally less costly than bicuspid (also known as premolar) root canals because the bicuspids contain more than one root. Our discount dental plan, Ameriplan USA®, will save you money on this procedure as well.