Ask a General Dentist: Is a Tooth Dead After a Root Canal

Ask a General Dentist: Is a Tooth Dead After a Root Canal from My Saratoga Dentist PLLC in Saratoga Springs, NYThere is no need to fear if your general dentist has recommended root canal treatment. This dental procedure is performed on millions of patients every year and is similar to a routine filling. It is a beneficial procedure that saves a tooth that has become infected or damaged. Many patients wonder if the tooth is dead after the treatment is completed. The answer to this question lies in understanding the anatomy of a tooth and the root canal process.

Anatomy of a tooth

Each tooth is made up of four layers of tissues. Three of these layers, including the enamel, dentin, and cementum, are hard substances that cover and protect various parts of the tooth. The fourth type is called the pulp, and it is a soft tissue that contains nerves and blood vessels. The pulp chamber is responsible for helping the root of a tooth grow during development.

After a tooth is fully developed, it can survive without the pulp because it receives nutrients from surrounding tissues. For this reason, the tooth does not become "dead" following a root canal treatment.

4 steps to root canal treatment

A general dentist recommends root canal treatment as an effective way to save a tooth rather than removing it. Below are the four steps followed during a root canal.

1. X-rays

First, the dental professional takes X-rays of the tooth and surrounding bone. This provides a clear picture of the structure and condition of the tooth. After the X-rays are completed, a dental dam is placed to protect the site from saliva and keep it clean.

2. Pulpectomy

Using a small drill, an opening is created at the top of the tooth to access the dental pulp. Small files are used to extract the damaged pulp and shape the interior of the tooth. The dental professional may irrigate the tooth chamber to ensure the area is clear of infection. An antimicrobial solution is often used to kill bacteria in the tooth to prevent further infection.

3. Filling

Once the interior of the tooth is cleaned and dried, a material, called gutta-percha, is used to fill the tooth. The opening is then closed with a temporary filling. The patient schedules a follow-up appointment to allow time for healing and for a permanent crown to be made.

4. Permanent Crown

After several weeks, the general dentist places a permanent crown over the tooth. If the crown needs additional support, a metal post may be placed inside the tooth to make it more stable.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp:
General Dentist in Saratoga Springs, NY

Conclusion

Though a root canal involves removing the nerves from inside a tooth, the tooth continues to function as normal. The nerves play an insignificant role in a fully developed tooth; thus, the tooth is still alive. A root canal is a beneficial treatment that saves a tooth from extraction and allows a patient to maintain a healthy smile. A patient who practices good oral care and visits a general dentist regularly can expect a restored tooth to last a lifetime.

Request an appointment or call My Saratoga Dentist PLLC at 518-675-3094 for an appointment in our Saratoga Springs office.

Recent Posts

Ask A General Dentist: Is There A Waiting Period After Fluoride

If a general dentist recommends fluoride treatments, patients may express concerns about the lasting effects of fluoride. They may also wonder whether eating and drinking are possible immediately afterward. Fortunately, fluoride is one of the easiest dental treatments to undergo with little to no waiting period and great benefits in the long term. Just a…

How A General Dentist Can Treat A Tooth Infection

Extreme tooth pain often leads to an appointment with a general dentist for an exam of the mouth to reveal the source of the problem. If a tooth infection is discovered, it is important to follow the advice of the dentist, as these do not go away on their own. A dentist may address the…

The Benefits Of Regular General Dentist Visits

Visiting a general dentist regularly can have a tremendous impact on the health and appearance of teeth. While carving out time in a schedule every six months for a dentist appointment can seem inconvenient, there are several reasons to set aside an hour or two twice a year for these visits.Dental professionals use specialized tools…

Recent Posts

Reasons To Replace Missing Teeth With Dentures

Reasons To Replace Missing Teeth With Dentures

Many people get dentures because they believe that missing a tooth is not appealing from a cosmetic standpoint. Missing teeth can also be detrimental to your oral health. This is why dentures are necessary to replace teeth, among other options. The dentist will go through the various alternatives with you. Regardless, you should always try…

Ask A General Dentist: Is There A Waiting Period After Fluoride

Ask A General Dentist: Is There A Waiting Period After Fluoride

If a general dentist recommends fluoride treatments, patients may express concerns about the lasting effects of fluoride. They may also wonder whether eating and drinking are possible immediately afterward. Fortunately, fluoride is one of the easiest dental treatments to undergo with little to no waiting period and great benefits in the long term. Just a…