The visible, exterior layer of a tooth is called the enamel. Beneath the enamel is another hard layer, called the dentin. The dentin surrounds a small chamber at the center of the tooth that contains the pulp. Tooth pulp is a soft tissue made up of nerves, arteries, and veins. The pulp extends from the pulp chamber down through narrow channels, called the root canals, to the tips of the roots.
The two most common causes of infection in the pulp are deep cavities and cracked or broken teeth. Both expose the pulp to bacteria that live in saliva. These bacteria, which are always present in your mouth, can cause an infection that can kill the pulp. Without treatment, the infection can eventually gather down at the root tip and pass into the jaw bone, causing an abscess (a pus pocket). The abscess can then damage the bone that surrounds the tooth. The resulting pressure inside the bone and ligaments surrounding the tooth can cause excruciating pain, and left untreated, can even be life threatening.
You may have realized that you had an infected tooth because it was sensitive to hot and cold, was swollen and painful, or had given you a bad taste in your mouth. On the other hand, you may have been completely unaware that you had an infection because you had no symptoms at all.
An infected tooth will never heal on its own and, as it gets worse, it will continue to be a source of infection that depletes your immune system, which can affect your entire body. Years ago, your only option would be for us to extract the tooth. But today, we can remove the infection safely and effectively with root canal therapy, and save your tooth.
Root Canal Therapy is accomplished with precision, digital measurements of the tooth’s anatomy and quiet electric instruments to clean and disinfect the bacteria inside the tooth. Then the canals are sealed and filled to the end of each root. A crown is then placed on all back teeth with root canals to help prevent leaking and fracture to the tooth.
Central Park Dentistry has literally done thousands of root canals so rest assured you are in good hands.