Saving a Tooth from Extraction
Teeth have three primary layers. The outermost layer, enamel, is the hardest substance your body produces. It protects the dentin, a more sensitive underlying layer that features tubules to transfer sensations to the tooth’s inner nerve. The nerve resides in the core of a tooth, in canals that run down the center of the tooth’s root(s). If decay has penetrated enamel and dentin, and extends inside the core of a tooth, the nerve of the tooth becomes infected. This nerve, or pulp, sustains the tooth’s life by providing nutrients and removing waste. To remove infection from a dental pulp, the pulp must be extracted in a pulpectomy. This is the nature of a root canal procedure, and often, a root canal is the only alternative to extraction. When we replace the tooth’s pulp with a manmade substance, the tooth will no longer be alive. However, it can remain functional and intact beneath a dental crown.
Severe Toothache Relief
Most people who need a root canal experience sharp, painful toothaches in their infected tooth. Because the infection is in the nerve, pain is to be expected. As infection grows, pressure builds within the tooth’s canal, and pain intensifies. A root canal relieves the pressure and removes infection, thus relieving the toothache.
Pulpectomy and Root Canal
The tooth is first prepared by removing all of the decay, the tooth pulp (nerves, blood vessels), and infection from inside the canal(s). Dr. Sohl will then shape and sterilize the inside of the tooth, using micro-tools. He will fill the canal with a manmade substance to help the tooth retain its strength and shape. To complete the procedure, a crown will be placed on the affected tooth.