Root Canals

There are two situations in which you may need a root canal.  Either your pulp is damaged or the nerve of your tooth is infected by bacteria. The pulp is the soft area in the center of the tooth, made up of tissue and cells. Signs in which indicate you may need to have a root canal procedure include sensitivity to  warm and cold foods, delicacy to touch and biting, staining of the tooth, swelling, and quite literally, agonizing pain. If you wait, and the tooth gets damaged enough, then you’ll most likely need to have your tooth fully extracted and a dental implant instead.

So How Does The Procedure Take Place?

root-canalFirst your dentist examines the damaged tooth, then regulates a sedative. After the tooth and the surrounding area is numb, he or she places what is referred to as a dental dam which confines the tooth and keeps it spotless, dry, and free from saliva. In some cases, anesthesia may not be used, if the nerve is dead, but most dental practitioners still anesthetize the area to relax the patient.

An access hole or opening will then be made by drilling into the tooth.  Small instruments are used to clean the pulp, along with bacteria, the decayed nerve tissue, and related debris from inside. The space inside is also opened up a little for filling.

The channels are cleaned with disinfectant and antibacterial chemicals. After the space is cleaned and molded, the endodontist fills the root with an elastic type of material which is called gutta-percha. This guarantees complete fixing of the root channels. A provisional filling is set to close the opening. The impermanent filling will be removed by your dental practitioner before the tooth is fully restored. A filling material will then be set to seal the entrance opening that was made to treat the channels, and the dental dam is then evacuated.

After the last visit with your dental specialist, you must return to have a crown or bridge put on the tooth to secure and restore it to full capacity.