Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Years ago, diseased or injured teeth were usually pulled. But today, a tooth can often be saved through root canal therapy. What is a root canal and what is the process? Continue reading to find out!
What is a Root Canal
Inside your tooth, beneath the white enamel and a hard layer called dentin, is a soft tissue called pulp. This tissue contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, which help grow the root of your tooth during its development.
A root canal is a procedure that replaces and fixes the infected pulp in a damaged tooth. It is very similar to a routine filling and can usually be completed in one or two appointments, depending on the condition of your tooth and your personal circumstances. Getting a root canal is relatively painless and extremely effective!
General Steps of a Root Canal
Root canal therapy may involve one or more dental visits. Your dentist or endodontist will perform the necessary steps to save your tooth:
- Your tooth is numbed for your comfort. A thin, flexible sheet of latex or non-latex material called a rubber dam is placed over your tooth to keep it dry. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
- Your tooth’s nerve or pulp is removed from the pulp chamber and the canal of each root of the tooth. Each root canal is cleaned, shaped and disinfected so that it can be filled.
- Your dentist may place medicine in the pulp chamber and root canal to help treat the infection.
- The treated root canal is filled with a rubber-like material to seal them.
- A temporary filling is placed in your tooth to prevent infection. You may be given antibiotics if the infection has spread beyond the end of the root(s).
- Finally, your dentist removes the temporary filling and restores the tooth with a crown or a permanent filling to strengthen it and improve the way it looks.
Think you may need a root canal or just want to get a checkup? Contact us today!