Root Canals

When tooth decay and/or trauma cause the pulp tissue inside a tooth to become infected, a root canal may be necessary to remove the infection. This treatment can relieve the pain and save your tooth by removing the infection at its source, rather than letting it spread to other parts of your mouth.

A Tooth’s Roots

Teeth have roots that extend into your jawbone to hold them in place. Some teeth have only one root, but others have two or more. The tip or end of each root is called the apex and is where nerves and blood vessels enter your tooth. When these apexes become infected, the nerves and blood vessels are affected, as are the cells that make up the tooth’s interior structure.

If you suffer from an infected or abscessed tooth, you should see your dentist immediately to receive treatment. If left untreated, the infected tissue could spread to other parts of your mouth, such as your bones or joints. This could be very dangerous and even fatal. Visit for more information and free consultation.

The Tooth’s Pulp

Your tooth’s pulp is the soft tissue within your tooth containing connective tissues, nerves and blood vessels. When your tooth’s pulp becomes infected, it can cause a variety of symptoms, including severe pain or swelling.

It can also lead to a hole extending through the tooth or into the gums or cheek. In some cases, the pulp may be swollen, red or pus-filled.

During a root canal, your Sarasota dentist will access the pulp chamber of the tooth to clean it out and remove the infected tissue. They will then fill the chamber with a material called gutta percha and seal it off. Then, they will place a crown (also known as a dental cap) on top of the treated tooth to protect it and make it look good.

A Root Canal Is a Last Resort

Sometimes, the damage to your tooth’s pulp is so severe that it cannot be saved with a root canal. When this happens, the nerve tissue in the tooth dies and a condition called irreversible pulpitis is developed.

You can avoid this by preventing tooth decay and trauma. Limit the amount of sugar you consume, as well as how much stress you put on your teeth. Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth, and remember to brush and floss regularly.

Preventing a Tooth’s Infection

You’ll need to take care of your teeth after the procedure so that any germs don’t come back. This means washing your hands and keeping the area clean. It’s also important to avoid foods that can irritate your tooth and cause additional infection, such as raw or sour foods and spicy or hot foods.

Your Sarasota dentist can recommend antibiotics and pain-relieving medication to treat your infection. You may also need to wear a night guard during sleep to protect your tooth from injury and promote healing.

A Root Canal Is Not More Painful than a Filling

The only difference between a root canal and a regular dental procedure is that your Sarasota dentist will give you anesthesia. This can be local or IV sedation, depending on your preferences and needs.

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