"ROOT CANAL" is often referred to as a procedure when in fact the root canal is a place in or part of the tooth. The root canal is the hollows within a tooth where the nerve tissue and blood vessels are located.
When the dental pulp (root canal area) cannot repair itself due to injury or disease, it dies. This can occur as a result of a deep cavity or a cracked tooth. Bacteria gets in, either through a crack, a cavity or loose filling and eventually destroys the pulp. When the bacteria penetrates through the root opening, the bone may become infected. Infection in the bone will eventually weaken it and break it down causing the ligaments around the tooth to swell and the tooth will become loose.
Root canal therapy is an endodontic procedure which involves the complete removal of everything that lies in the root canal. The hollow area is then cleaned, shaped and decontaminated. Miniscule files and irrigation solutions are used. Though it doesn't sound pleasant, don't stress, done properly the procedure is relatively painless.
Dr. Michael Miller performs a portion of his patient's root canal therapy at Lake Oconee Family Dental while referring others to a specialist, an Endodontist. Dr. Miller will determine, after a thorough exam, whether or not his patient must be referred to a specialist based on the location and complexity of the needed therapy.
After root canal therapy the tooth is dead. You should no longer feel any pain on that tooth because the nerve tissue has been taken out and the infection has been eliminated. A few days post root canal therapy, the patient will return to Dr. Miller's office to have the "hollow" filled.