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What is a Root Canal?

Posted by FLEX DENTAL on Jan 4 2021, 04:59 AM

What is a Root Canal?

Have you heard of people complaining about a root canal infection and wondered what it could be? Our teeth have three major layers, namely the enamel, dentin, and root canal. Although the enamel and dentin are solid layers, the root canal is a cavity that houses the dental pulp. A root canal infection is a decay of the tissues within the root canal cavity, mostly caused due to the microbes present in the mouth.

How is a root canal infection caused?

Cavities caused due to the accumulation of plaque and tartar on the surface of the teeth are the leading reason behind a root canal infection. When cavities are not treated and filled with suitable filling material, they can grow broader and deeper. Eventually, they could advance to the central root canal and infect the blood vessels and nerves in it. In some instances, gum diseases like periodontitis and gingivitis, external trauma to the teeth, and other oral conditions could also lead to a root canal infection.  

What are the symptoms of a root canal infection?

  • Since the dental pulp within the cavity would decay, the infected tooth could appear dull and discolored from the outside.
  • The gums near the infected tooth could release pus or even bleed.
  • The underlying jawbone could deteriorate or lose volume when the condition is left untreated for a long time.
  • Severe pain and discomfort when you bite and chew food, brush the teeth, etc.
  • Eventually, the tooth could loosen from its socket and fall off.

How do we get rid of a root canal infection?

The best and most effective means to treat a root canal infection is by removing the infected pulp from the cavity. However, the dentist will consider other treatment methods before opting for this, such as medication, restorations, oral cleaning, etc. But, if the alternative treatment methods do not render the desired results, root canal therapy would be the last resort treatment method to save the tooth.

During the procedure, we make a small hole on the infected tooth to access the pulp. The dentist will extract the decayed pulp from the cavity using dental files, which will also be used to scrub the walls of the cavity. A jet of water is used to wash away the removed microbes and debris, after which antibiotic medication is placed in the cavity. It ensures the infection is arrested and the tooth heals. The hole will be sealed off with a filling material.

Would the tooth require restoration?

When a root canal therapy is performed, the pulp from within the tooth will be removed completely. This means the tooth would not have any source of nourishment or sensitivity. Over time, this can make the tooth weak and lead to possible damage, such as cracks, chipping, or fractures. This can be prevented with the help of a dental crown.

We will take precise scans of the tooth and use the data to fabricate a ceramic crown. It will be matched with the exact color and contour of your natural tooth, giving it a seamless appearance. Once the crown is bonded to the tooth, it would be protected from external factors that could damage it.


Please do reach out to us on-call (813) 999-1092 or by scheduling an online consultation with our dental professionals, and we’ll be glad to assist you further.

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