Why You Might Need Root Canal Therapy
To understand why your Tampa dentist may recommend root canal therapy, you need to understand tooth anatomy. Here’s a simple breakdown. Teeth consist of three parts:
- Enamel: The enamel is the hard outer layer of the tooth that protects the more delicate layers from damage due to trauma, acids in our foods, and bacterial attacks. Enamel only covers the coronal portion of the tooth – the part of the tooth above the gum line.
- Dentin: Under the enamel is a layer called dentin. The dentin is the primary component of each tooth. This layer reinforces the enamel and helps protect the pulp.
- Pulp: The dental pulp is the center of the tooth. It is commonly referred to as the nerve but consists of blood vessels and connective tissue in addition to nerve cells. The pulp sits in the middle of the tooth and fills the canals in each tooth’s root.
Reasons Why You May Need a Root Canal in Tampa
The dental pulp is very delicate and can easily die if not protected, which is why your dentist recommends regular cleanings and good oral hygiene at home. If you can keep the enamel healthy, you can protect the pulp.
However, the pulp can sometimes become damaged by deep dental decay, a deep crack in the tooth, or trauma (getting hit in the face/mouth/tooth).
Damaged pulp can result in the tooth’s death, which can cause a lot of pain and weaken the tooth’s structure. When this happens, patients have two options: Extract the tooth or proceed with a root canal.