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Root Canals

Root Canal (endodontic) therapy is when the space within a tooth originally occupied by its nerve is treated. The treatment is used to resolve patholigic conditions inside a tooth that have affected both is nerve tissue, and probably the tissues that surround the tooth too. It sets the stage so healing can take place. The process involves two steps, Cleaning and sealing off the tooth's inner space. Once a tooth's nerve tissue has started to degenerate (die), and bacteria have taken up residence inside the tooth's nerve area, there is no way for white blood cells to effectively get at the bacteria to combat them. The blood and lymphatic vessels inside the tooth that are needed to transport them either no longer exist, or at least have been severely compromised. This means that the nerve space inside a tooth can provide a nice cozy cave-like location for bacteria to live because it's a place where your body's defense mechanisms have a hard time getting at them. With this scenario, at best your body will only be able to cordon off the infection caused by the bacteria living inside your tooth. At worst, this infection will overwhelm your body's defense mechanisms and pain and swelling will ensue (an acute tooth abscess).

 Endodontic therapy provides for a third outcome, one where the infection is not just cordoned off but actually cleared up. Root canal treatment assists your body's infection-fighting process by removing or sealing off the bacteria and tissue irritants inside your tooth that it can't effectively reach and deal with.

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