Your tooth consists of hard and soft tissue. Hard tissue includes enamel and dentine. Underneath the outer enamel and within the dentin is an area of soft tissue called the dental pulp. While the tooth’s pulp tissue does contain nerve fibers, it is also composed of arteries, veins, lymph vessels, and connective tissue. Each tooth’s nerve enters the tooth at the very tip of its roots. From there, the nerve runs through the center of the root in the form of small “root canals,” which join up with the tooth’s pulp chamber.
When the pulp becomes infected or inflamed due to a deep cavity or fracture, the blood supply to the tooth may be lost and the tooth pulp may die. Damaged or dead pulp causes increased blood flow and activity in the tooth’s cells. Pressure may build within a tooth that cannot be relieved, causing pain that is commonly felt when biting down, chewing, or consuming hot or cold foods and drinks.
Without treatment, the infection will spread and the bone around the tooth will begin to degenerate, possibly causing the tooth to fall out. Pain usually worsens until you are forced to seek dental attention.
Root canal therapy is a procedure that removes the damaged or dead pulp and disinfects the tooth. The canal is reshaped, cleaned, and filled with gutta percha, a rubber-like material, to prevent recontamination of the tooth. The tooth is then permanently sealed.
In our office, we use a cutting edge wave one rotator root canal filing system so we can effectively and efficiently perform shaping and mechanical debridement. We then use NaOCl and QMix solution to irrigate the canal (http://www.tulsadentalspecialties.com/default/endodontics/activation/QMix.aspx) Both solutions will be fully activated by the Endoactivator instrument to ensure that the root canal system is cleaned and disinfected as thoroughly as possible. Finally, the root canal will be dried and sealed with gutta purcha to prevent reinfection.