Root Canal Therapy
Word on the street is that root canals are highly painful and unpleasant procedures. The truth is that this treatment method is actually meant to save teeth that are severely infected. This method is used to remove bacteria and dead tissue from inside the tooth.
Advances in medical science have made root canal procedures rather comfortable. We can complete them in one or maybe two appointments.
When are Root Canals Necessary?
Root canal procedures are called for when a tooth has a severe level of infection. The pulp inside a tooth can suffer bacterial infections if injuries and cavities are left untreated. If nothing is done, these conditions can progress to a point where the only option is extraction.
What is the Procedure for a Root Canal?
A root canal procedure usually has four stages that occur between two dental visits.
The first step is to apply a local anesthetic by way of a needle. You may feel a slight sting when the needle enters. Once the tooth becomes numb, we may insert a dental dam. A dental dam is a small, flat piece of rubber meant to keep the tooth clean and protected during the procedure.
Removing the Pulp
Your doctor will open up the top part of the tooth with a small drill to access the pulp. It is common for us to use a small file to remove the infected pulp and reshape the inner part of the tooth. If we find any pulp remaining inside the tooth, we can wash it out with water. We can also put an antimicrobial solution into the tooth chamber to kill any remaining bacteria to reduce the chances of further infection.
Filling in the Opening
Once we ensure that the chamber is dry and clean, we will use a rubbery material called gutta-percha to fill it in. We will then close the opening in your teeth with a temporary filling, which will stay in place until we attach the final crown.
Placing the Crown
We will wait a few weeks after the root canal before we place the permanent crown (or whichever type of restoration is chosen). Depending on the health of the surrounding teeth, we may have to place a supporting post inside the root chamber to ensure the restoration remains stable.
How Shall I Care for my Newly Restored Tooth?
After a successful root canal treatment, you must observe proper oral care to ensure lasting results. We may need to take an x-ray of the treated tooth to check that there are no signs of infection. We might do this x-ray during a routine check-up or schedule a special appointment for it.
Take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing two times a day. Choose a toothpaste that protects you from germs for 12 hours. Eat a balanced diet that is low in sugary foods and drinks. Your restored tooth will stay healthy for the rest of your life if you take proper care of it.
For more information, please contact our office at (631) 659-5599.