The outer surface of teeth is made of enamel, which lies directly over a layer of dentin. The next layer is a soft tissue known as pulp, which is where blood vessels and nerves reside and where teeth are grown during the years of early development. When the tooth’s pulp becomes infected or inflamed, a root canal is required to remove the pulp. Next, the inner surfaces of the tooth are carefully cleaned and disinfected, and a rubber-like substance is used to fill the area left behind after the pulp was removed. Then, a filling or crown is used to seal the surface of the tooth.
A number of factors can lead to inflammation of a tooth’s pulp. In some cases, trauma to the surface of the tooth can create a problem, even if the entire surface is intact. More commonly, deep decay, a cracked or chipped tooth, multiple dental procedures or improperly conducted dental interventions cause inflammation and or infection. There are some cases in which it is impossible to determine what led to the need for a root canal.
Each and every patient is unique, but in most cases, root canal treatment offers a safe and lasting solution to inflammation or infection of a tooth’s pulp. A root canal also offers an almost immediate end to pain caused by that swelling, which is the first sign that many patients have that something is amiss. Because the tooth’s pulp is removed and the tooth is then filled and sealed, patients can return to their normal activities within a short period of time. In many cases, the restored tooth will continue to function for the rest of the patient’s life. If any issues do arise over time, Dr. James J. Lee, DDS is always available to evaluate the tooth and determine if additional dental work is called for.
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"Dr. Lee and his staff are top notch and treated me with the highest level of professionalism and care, which helped eliminate anxiety from having to go to the dentist."
"Mary, the hygienist is amazing. She was extra careful around the teeth that I pointed out as very sensitive. It was the best cleaning I've ever had!"
"I think the doctor is great. He tells you everything that he's doing and going to do, which is nice. He's quick, professional, and straightforward."
"Dr. Lee is one of the best dentists I have been to in Austin. His crown procedures are remarkable. He is extremely customer caring and loves what he does!"