Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges. Symptoms of the infection are generally acute dental pain or sensitivity to hot, cold or percussion. Our doctor has many years of experience performing root canals. If you experience any of these symptoms, you will most likely be recommended root canal therapy to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 90% of cases.
What is a root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment involves the removal of the diseased pulp along with the tooth's nerve (located within a tooth's root canal). The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of your tooth are then cleaned, medicated and sealed. A dental crown or other restorative treatment is used to protect and strengthen the tooth.
What happens after I am diagnosed?
After reviewing a Digital X-ray of your tooth, your endodontist will thoroughly examine your teeth, gums and supporting bone structure, recommend a treatment plan, discuss it with you, and answer your questions. If a root canal is needed:
A local anesthetic is applied to the affected tooth and surrounding area
A small, protective sheet called a "dental dam" is used to isolate the tooth to keep it clean and free of saliva during your procedure
An opening is made in the top of the tooth and your endodontist will remove the soft pulp and nerve and then shape the interior for filling
The root canal is cleaned, medicated, and filled with a rubber-like biocompatible material (gutta percha)
A temporary filling is placed pending your return to your general dentist
Your general dentist will then place a permanent restoration, such as a crown, to protect the tooth