A root canal involves the removal of the inside pulp of a tooth and the nerve. That prevents any further damage from occurring to the tooth. A root canal also means that the dental patient will never again experience any pain or discomfort from a tooth that has had the procedure. Root canals are complete when the tooth has been filled. Read on to learn more about root canal fillings.
Why Fill the Tooth?
Root canals are an excellent solution when your tooth is otherwise healthy but has problems. Decay and cracks in the tooth, for instance, will eventually erode the tooth and cause it to be lost. Your dentist will make every effort to save your natural tooth and that can include saving even small portions of the tooth. That is because your body is more accepting of your natural teeth than other substances.
The tooth that needs work may be only a shell once the decay and damage have been removed. However, the tooth must be filled after the root canal procedure because it remains vulnerable to breakage. While this can vary, many patients would be unable to use a tooth that has undergone a root canal unless it is filled.
How the Filling Works
The filling material used is called gutta-percha. This material is derived from latex. Alternate materials are available to those with latex allergies, however so let your dentist know about your allergy beforehand. The material is soft when it's used to fill the tooth, but it will harden later. If your dentist needs to perform work on the same tooth later, the gutta-percha can be softened again with the application of xylene which acts as a solvent.
Issues With Root Canal Fillings
In most cases, root canal fillings are not a problem for dental patients. If the tooth is judged to be too insubstantial even after it's filled, your dentist may suggest a cap or crown be applied over the filled tooth. This will ensure that your tooth remains strong and stable for a long time.
Some patients may have issues with the filling if too much has been used. It can be tricky to use enough to do the job without overfilling the tooth. If you experience any pain after your root canal, phone your dentist to have your tooth examined for this possibility. Overfilling won't necessarily cause problems for everyone, however. Many are unaware that too much filling was used because it doesn't cause any discomfort. If you are in pain, your dentist can confirm the issue using an X-ray and then remove the filling taking care to fill the tooth with a smaller amount.
To learn more, speak to your dentist.
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