Root Canal Therapy (Endodontics)
IN SPOKANE VALLEY, WA
Root canal therapy is a procedure undergone to save a tooth from having to be removed from the mouth. When a tooth has experienced decay all the way to its core, root canal therapy is the only procedure that can prevent the loss of the tooth and involves removing the core of the tooth and any decay present within.
At Coulter Family Dentistry, we are committed to the education of our patients. If you understand the things that happen within your mouth, then you can do your best to prevent any ill-effects from occurring.
The Anatomy of a ToothIf you were to look at a cross section of a tooth you would see three layers that surround its root.
The outer most layer of the tooth is the enamel, which is thin, white and extremely hard. Enamels job is to protect the tooth from wear and tear. Below the enamel is a thicker layer called dentin. Dentin isn’t quite as hard as the enamel but provides the structure for the tooth. Below the dentin is a layer of pulp that surrounds that nerve. The pulp is full of full of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue and is critical to a tooth when it is growing.
Once a tooth has matured it can easily survive without the pulp because the tissue around the tooth will be enough to keep it healthy.
Why would I need a root canal?When a tooth is allowed to decay to the point that the inner pulp is affected, a root canal is needed to save it. If a root canal is not performed once a tooth has reached this point, the tooth will eventually rot and die. Once a tooth is dead, it requires extraction and replacement which can be extremely costly.
How would I know if I needed a root canal?If you start to notice changes in a tooth at any point, it’s a good idea to give us a call at 509-209-8747 to schedule an appointment. When a tooth starts to become sensitive to heat or cold, or when a tooth becomes tender or painful, that’s generally a sign of decay in the tooth.
If the tooth starts to change color or if there is swelling in the gums around the tooth, it’s time to come in for a visit as these are signs of severe infection.
How does a root canal help my tooth?The procedure consists of us drilling into your tooth and removing all of the decay in the tooth as well as all of the pulp. Once we have removed the pulp of the tooth we fill in the cavity with an inert material call gutta-percha that helps the tooth to maintain its rigid structure. Once the gutta-percha has been placed within we fill in the access hole the same way we would a filling.
As long as you take proper care of your teeth by brushing twice and flossing once per day, you can expect your mouth to return to health.
Please call us today at 509-209-8747 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing your smile.