Mercury-Free Dentist Tacoma Washington — Endodontics deals with treating problems of the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels, both of which are located in the pulp and root canal. Advanced decay and trauma to the tooth’s nerves are the most common cause of the procedure called root canal. When the decay reaches the tooth’s dentin, the dentin is exposed to germs and their toxins. If caught soon enough, via dental exam or X ray, the decay can be removed and the tooth filled without further damage. But if the decay is allowed to proceed it will eventually reach the pulp and destroy it. Then the infection will proceed into the root canal. Because the root canal is so narrow, any infection causing inflammation and swelling will give you intense pain. But you must remember that pain will not always be present; it may not show up until the bone around the root tip has also become infected, and sometimes not even then.

Whether or not there’s pain, once the pulp has been infected and is dying, either a root canal must be done or the tooth will have to be removed. In a root canal, in order to remove the infection, the contents of the pulp and root canal are completely removed. If this isn’t done, the germs, and the resulting infection, can travel down to root canal and infect the bone that surrounds the root. This not only destroys the bone but can cause an abscess, intense pain, and swelling in the area around the root.

Your dentist will remove the infection and fill the canal or canals ( teeth may have one, two, or three roots) with a special material. Root canal can help you save an infected tooth from extraction.

After the root canal is done, depending on how much of the tooth is left, several things can be done to restore your tooth. You may only need a little filling. Or the tooth may need a full crown, if the destruction has been severe. Sometimes the tooth may be so decayed that, after the root canal is done, there’s not enough tooth structure left to support a crown. In this case, the dentist has to place a post into the root and build up a filling around it in order to support a crown.

Any time a root canal has been done, and the tooth’s pulp and root canal have been cleaned out, the tooth is more susceptible to fracturing because the tooth dries out when the nerves and blood vessels no longer provide it with fluids. So, if your dentist tells you  a tooth with a root canal needs to be crowned to keep it from fracturing, you now know why.