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Excessive bacteria and plaque on teeth can cause tooth decay, during which acid eats away at the tooth enamel and sometimes causes a tooth infection. Though cavities or dental caries that are caught early can be treated with a filling, sometimes the tooth decay progresses to a point where it destroys the inside pulp of the tooth. This form of advanced tooth decay is extremely painful, sometimes leading to further infection along the gum line and bone loss along the jaw.
A root canal procedure removes both the infected pulp and the nerve inside a decayed tooth. The interior of the tooth is then cleaned out and resealed, resulting in a painless and natural feeling smile.
“Root canal” is actually a technical term referring to the natural cavity within the tooth containing both the nerve and pulp. A root canal procedure essentially cleans out the root canal.
Your dentist begins by taking X-rays of the tooth and anesthetizing the surrounding area. An access hole is then drilled into the tooth and a series of root canal files are used to scrape away the decaying pulp and nerve tissue.
After a thorough cleaning, the root canal is filled with a compound called gutta percha. The access hole on the outside of the tooth is then sealed shut, preventing other bacteria from getting into the tooth.
A tooth ache and severe discoloration are generally the first warning signs that one or more of your teeth may be infected and endangered. If you think you may be suffering from tooth decay, contact A Beautiful Smile for information about our root canal treatments at our Sugar Land office.