An ever-evolving field, endodontics is the study and practice of treatment of a tooth’s dental pulp. This field includes the prevention and treatment of its associated illnesses and health conditions.
The top of the tooth is enamel, underneath it is dentin, and under the dentin is pulp. Dental pulp isn’t a fluid as we think of the word “pulp” – rather, in dentistry, pulp is made of soft connective tissue, tiny blood vessels and lymphatic elements, and nerves.
Once the enamel of a tooth is compromised and the dentin and pulp become exposed, it is up to endodontists to save the tooth. The pulp chamber is inside the main part of the upper tooth, and it narrows considerably on its way down deep into the gums – where the tooth hosts the vessels and nerves.
These areas are the pointed-down parts of a tooth you’ve seen in drawings or pictures, and inside each one is the canal of the root. When a tooth suffers severe, deep damage, it requires a root canal to fix it.
What Is a Root Canal?
If you think of it the root of your tooth as a roll of paper towels. Now this tooth we are doing has two to three roots but for the example let’s say it has only one like the roll of paper towels. The mass of the paper is the root itself (the dentin layer) the tube down the middle is the root canal space where the nerve and blood vessels are. Now when the nerve has become infected or compromised from decay or fracture and bacteria have exposed the living part of the tooth nerve and blood vessels we need to save the tooth with a root canal. The procedure is simple we basically clean out and disinfect the root canal space with small instruments and use solutions to sterilize the space the we seal the space off with a sealer cement and an inert material called gutta percha. Then we restore the crown of the tooth and you can save the tooth with out the need for extraction and either a bridge or an implant.
This is also to prevent the infection from spreading to other areas of the body via the blood vessels. Sometimes an abscess forms at the bottom of the root, and a root canal procedure eliminates any further pain or infection from the abscess.
When a dental patient has a cavity, having the cavity filled will help prevent further damage to the tooth. This is how a simple filling can prevent infected pulp and prevent the need for a root canal.
How Does Dental Pulp Get Damaged?
When a person damages a tooth, the damage can expose the nerves to the air, saliva, and foods and drinks the person is consuming. This can result in severe pain.
Fractured or cracked teeth are often difficult to pinpoint, as the pain can be reflected to other teeth, the head, neck, and even the ear. Dentists who are trained in endodontics know how to examine and locate the source of the actual injury.
Endodontics in Minneapolis-St. Paul
If you live in the Twin Cities area and have a need for a dentist who is also skilled in endodontics – perhaps you need a root canal or have sudden tooth pain – look no further than Hagerman Dental Care.
Dr. Hagerman has decades of experience practicing dentistry, and he offers everything from family dentistry to pediatric dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. He performs dental implants, dentures, Invisalign, porcelain veneers, crowns, bridges, and single-visit root canals.
Call our team today at (651) 646-2392 or request an appointment online. We’re conveniently located off of Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, near Hamline University and not far from the Como Zoo. Trust your smile and your oral health to one of the most recognized and honored dentists in Minnesota.