Root Canal Therapy in Waldorf, MD
To understand root canals, it helps to know something about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth under the white enamel and a hard area called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development. The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth’s growth and development. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.
Why would I need a root canal?
Root canals are necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, a blow to a tooth may cause pulp damage even it the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
Signs of pulp damage include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth and swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums. Sometimes, there are no symptoms.
Drs. Lasher and Harriman will remove the inflamed or infected pulp, then carefully clean and shape the inside of the tooth, fill and seal the space. Afterwards, they will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. After the restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.