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Dr. Carol Halloran and our Crossroads Dental team in Waterloo, Iowa, are here to assist you with all of your oral care needs. Do you have an infected or inflamed tooth causing you pain? If so, you may benefit from a root canal treatment which can save a diseased tooth.

Inside the center of your tooth lies tooth pulp. Tooth pulp is made of nerves, connective tissue and blood vessels which branch out and into each root through canals in the tooth. This tooth pulp can become inflamed or infected due to decay.

One of the most important roles the tooth pulp has is to create dentin. Dentin is a calcified material which makes up the protective layer underneath the tooth enamel. The pulp also nourishes growing teeth.

A tooth’s pulp can become infected due to a variety of causes, including injury to the tooth, a tooth which has become cracked, broken, or has a deep cavity, repeated dental treatments such as fillings on a tooth, and gum disease. All of these allow bacteria to enter the pulp and damage the tooth.

The purpose of a root canal is to save a tooth from extraction. It is typically preferable to save a tooth rather than have to replace it. While some people believe root canals are painful procedures, they are generally no more uncomfortable than having a filling done, and they provide relief from tooth pain.

So what can you expect during a root canal treatment? Rest assured you will be made comfortable while our dentist removes the damaged pulp, thoroughly cleans and disinfects the space and then fills and seals the area. After a root canal, the tooth will need to be topped with a filling or crown, depending on your needs.

To help prevent the need for a root canal, keep your teeth healthy and strong with daily brushing and flossing to remove food particles, bacteria, and plaque. You will also want to maintain regular dental cleanings to remove hardened plaque and tartar deposits. After you have a root canal, good oral hygiene is essential to keeping a tooth healthy. Even a tooth which has undergone a root canal treatment can still succumb to gum disease and tooth decay.

To find out more, or to schedule a dental cleaning and oral exam, please call a member of our staff at 319.291.3908. Dr. Carol Halloran and our Crossroads Dental team in Waterloo, Iowa, are here to keep you smiling!