Root Canal Therapy
What is a root canal?
There is more to our teeth than meets the eye.
When you look in the mirror, you can really only see less than half of your tooth. In fact, human teeth are about an entire inch long, with most of the tooth being hidden under the gums and bone.
Our teeth have multiple parts, including the crown (which we can see in our mouths), the root (which is contained in the gums and bones), the dentin, the enamel, and the pulp. The pulp contains nerves and blood vessels, which give our teeth sensation. The pulp is soft and fleshy, and is protected by the outer part of the tooth, which is hard. The space in the middle of the tooth where the pulp is located is called the root canal.
Okay, so what is root canal therapy?
The nerves and blood vessels of teeth can get inflamed or infected when cavities get very deep or when our teeth suffer traumatic injury. Inflamed or infected pulp can be extremely painful, and the only way to solve this problem and save the tooth is with root canal therapy.
Root canal therapy involves removing the diseased pulp, cleaning the canal, and placing a filling material and canal sealer. Depending on the severity of the infection, the presence of swelling, or whether or not the patient has a fever, an antibiotic may be necessary to prevent the infection from spreading.
Every now and then, you’ll hear someone say something disparaging about root canal therapy, such as, “I’d rather have a root canal than see the Dallas Cowboys win another Super Bowl!” or “A 20-hour flight to New Zealand!? I’d rather have a root canal!” Or maybe you’ve had an experience when you’ve told someone you need root canal therapy and they give you a sympathetic look and say, “Oh no, you poor thing!” as if you’ve just lost your puppy.
The truth is that root canal therapy isn’t nearly as bad as the stereotype makes it seem. In fact, the discomfort that necessitates root canal therapy is far worse than the treatment itself.
Instead of being talked about as if it were an enhanced interrogation technique, root canal therapy should be praised as a glorious savior! Without root canal therapy, the only way to eliminate the pain and the disease would be to remove the tooth.
What do I do if I need root canal therapy?
Dental infections are serious and can spread quickly. If you are experiencing a toothache or swelling and you think you may need root canal therapy, call (301) 963-0800 to schedule an appointment.
Dental pain can be frustrating, distracting, and very uncomfortable. We look forward to making you feel like you again.