Root Canal Therapy
Read more: Root Canal Retreatment
How did the inside part of my tooth become infected?There are a few ways the tooth pulp can become infected, these may include:
If a cavity is ignored, the cavity does not heal itself, it does not just go away, it continues to grow. Cavities are caused by decay-causing bacteria that eat away at your tooth. This bacteria continues to develop and worsen if not removed. As it worsens, it can reach down into the layers of your tooth. You may first notice the tinge of sensitivity or pain once it goes below the enamel and into the dentin of your tooth. Under the layer of dentin is the area of your tooth known as the pulp. With bacteria in this area, it can be very painful. It will not heal on its own, you will require the assistance of a dentist to avoid extraction.
What is the root canal therapy procedure?To remove the infection and restore your tooth's function, we need to gain access to the problem. After the tooth is thoroughly numbed, Dr. Kooning goes inside if for direct access. He will open the tooth and then proceed to remove the entire pulp, along with the disease causing bacteria. The pulp is the inner portion of your tooth, it consists of nerves, connective tissues, and living cells called odontoblasts. This inner portion of your tooth was necessary to grow your tooth, but one the tooth is fully grown, it is OK to remove it. He will then clean out the canal with an antibacterial wash and fill the space with medicated rubber.
With the tooth now clear of bacteria, Dr. Kooning will close the space with filler material. Because a large portion of the tooth had to be tunneled out, the tooth has been weakened, making it more susceptible to breakage. Depending on the location of the tooth in your mouth, Dr. Kooning may recommend the placement of a dental crown or cap for the tooth. This will shield the tooth from breakage and further damage. With the crown in place, the tooth is now fully restored.
For more information on root canal therapy, the inner portion of your tooth, and your options for restoring a tooth, call our office located in Lake Oswego, OR at (503) 673-9097 to make an appointment with Dr. Chris Kooning.