A “root canal” is a procedure where decayed or infected tissue is removed from inside a tooth, saving it from having to be extracted.
Teeth are made up of three layers. The first is the white, hard outer layer called enamel. The next layer is made of dentin. The innermost layer is where the nerve (pulp), blood vessels and connective tissue are found. The pulp extends down into each root of the tooth.
When the pulp becomes damaged due to injury or an infection develops from decay, the tooth becomes painful. Swelling can occur. If the infection is not treated, it will destroy the bone tissue in your jaw.
If the damaged or infected pulp is not removed, the only other treatment option is to extract the tooth. The pulp is removed by a small hole that is drilled into the tooth.
The inside of the tooth is then cleaned and sealed. A temporary filling is placed until a more permanent restoration is placed at a later date. The treatment is usually completed in one to three visits.
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