Dr Babak Joobbani
At our Columbia, MD dentist office, we also perform root canal treatments. Root canals are tiny passageways that branch off from beneath the top of the tooth, coursing their way vertically downward, until they reach the tip of the root. These canals contain the nerves and blood vessels and other tissues. These tissues are also known as the pulp. All teeth have between one and four root canals.
Many teeth problems involve deep decay and infections that spread to the pulp. When the infection becomes worse, it can begin affecting the roots. A traumatic injury to a tooth can also compromise the pulp, leading to similar problems. A diseased inner tooth brings a host of problems including pain and sensitivity as the first indications of a problem. However, inside the tooth and surrounding jaw, a spreading infection can cause small pockets of pus to develop, which can lead to an abscess.
Some signs that might indicate a tooth needs a Root Canal include: severe pain in the tooth while chewing food; prolonged sensitivity and/or pain to heat or cold; discoloration (typically darkening) of the tooth; and swelling, irritation, or drainage of pus in the gum area. Sometimes a root canal is needed when no signs are present, but an x-ray reveals infection within the bone.
Root canal therapy is a remarkable treatment with a very high rate of success, and involves removing the diseased tissue, halting the spread of infection and restoring the healthy portion of the tooth. In fact, root canal therapy is designed to save a problem tooth; before the procedure was developed and gained acceptance, the only alternative for treating a diseased tooth was extraction.
Root canal therapy usually entails one to three visits. During the first visit, a small hole is drilled through the top of the tooth and into the inner chamber. Diseased tissue is removed, the inner chamber cleansed and disinfected, and the tiny canals reshaped. The cleansed chamber and canals are filled with a plastic material and medication designed to prevent infection. If necessary, the drilled hole is temporarily filled until a permanent seal is made with a crown.
Most patients who have root canal experience little or no discomfort or pain, and enjoy a restored tooth that can last almost as long as it’s healthy original. Common belief is that root canals are very painful. The real pain involved with a root canal is actually due to the amount of time that the tooth is infected and the nerve is damaged. The longer an infection is allowed to persist, the more discomfort one will experience during the healing phase of a root canal treatment. This the reason that our Columbia dentist, Dr. Joobbani, recommends that if a person feels any discomfort in their tooth they should make a dental appointment with us immediately.