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What is Root Canal Surgery?

What is Root Canal Surgery?

Signature Smile performs endodontic surgery on a regular basis, and it’s actually a very common procedure in dentistry. In fact, endodontic surgery (sometimes known as a “root canal”) saves millions of teeth each year.  Yet, most people aren’t aware of what root canal surgery is until after they need one. So, for anyone who’s curious (or perhaps just found out they needed one) here’s a brief explanation on just what a root canal is.

For starters, a root canal itself is actually a part of a person’s tooth, not a type of surgery. Teeth are made up of several different layers. There’s the protective outer shell known as the enamel, the next, more sensitive layer known as dentin, and the innermost layer, which is actually made up of tissue called pulp, and is commonly referred to as the “nerve” of the tooth.  These nerves branch out from the center of the tooth and head down to the roots of a tooth through “canals.” Root canals provide a means for the tooth to absorb what it needs from the blood while also getting rid of toxins and other unwanted materials.

A deep cavity, traumatic injury, or tooth fracture can make the root canal susceptible to bacterial infection, which can kill pulp, increase blood flow, and create pressure within the tooth. This can cause acute pain, tooth loss, and bone degeneration. If the condition isn’t too far advanced, it can be treated with endodontic surgery.

During endodontic or root canal surgery, a dentist will actually go inside your tooth and remove the damaged pulp (after applying necessary anesthetics, of course). Once the pulp is removed, the inside of the tooth is cleaned, filled with a natural polymer called gutta-percha and is then sealed back up.

Nowadays, the procedure is rather painless, and can be finished in about two hours. Should you have any other questions, or feel as though you may need root canal surgery, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment and Signature Smile’s Brooklyn Heights dental office.

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