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Root Canals

A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a severely damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it altogether. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp). It is then cleaned and disinfected and afterwards it is filled and sealed.

The common causes affecting the damaged area are a cracked teeth, cavities, and repeated dental treatment in the same area. The cleaning of the canals inside the tooth’s root is where the phrase “root canal” comes from. For years, root canal treatments were painful. With dental advances and local anesthetics however , most people have little if any pain with a root canal today.

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especially along the gumline and between teeth that are crooked or crowded. If plaque is not removed within about 48 hours after it forms, it begins to calcify into tartar, a hard substance that cannot be removed with brushing or flossing. However, your dental hygienist can remove these stubborn deposits with a special instrument Having tartar removed can help prevent gum disease and keep the earliest stages of the condition (gingivitis) from progressing to the more advanced and irreversible stages (periodontitis).

The Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a progressive condition with three stages:

1

Gingivitis:

Plaque contains numerous strains of bacteria, many of which can irritate the gums and cause them to swell and bleed. This is the first stage of gum disease and is completely reversible. A thorough professional cleaning coupled with vigilant cleaning techniques at home, which your dental hygienist will demonstrate for you, will usually restore your gum tissues to optimal health.

2

Periodontitis:

This stage of gum disease occurs when tartar along the gumline breaks the attachment of the gums to the teeth, causing bone loss and periodontal pockets.

These openings between the gums and teeth trap food particles and bacteria that damage the structures holding the teeth in place. A therapeutic (deep) cleaning by your hygienist or dentist, which involves removing bacteria from the periodontal and root surfaces so that the gums can reattach to them, can help prevent more damage. Antibiotic therapy and antimicrobial rinses are also used in some cases to help control the infection.

3

Advanced Periodontitis:

In this third stage of periodontal disease, the gums, periodontal ligaments and bone sustain so much damage that the teeth may begin to loosen. In the advanced stages, your hygienist cannot help you. You need more aggressive treatments from a Periodontist, such as laser surgery and bone or gum tissue grafts to help prevent tooth loss.