What is a Root Canal?
When the nerve of a tooth becomes infected or abscessed, Root Canal Therapy is the only way to save the tooth. A tooth can become abscessed as a result of deep decay, a crack, or trauma. The only alternative to Root Canal Therapy is an Extraction (physically removing the tooth).
During Root Canal Therapy, the tooth is “numbed” (just like having a filling). The unhealthy nerve is removed and medication is placed in the tooth to treat the bacterial abscess (infection). After the infection is removed and treated, a filling is placed in the roots where the unhealthy nerve once was.
A tooth that has undergone Root Canal Therapy must be crowned by your general dentist to give the tooth sufficient strength. The tooth is cared for in the same way as other natural teeth. Brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist for regular preventive dental check-ups.
Advances in Root Canal Therapy
The way root canal therapy is performed today is vastly different than those done a few years ago, not to mention a decade ago. The level for quality care has dramatically increased. It is a thing of the past to do root canals in five to six appointments, or by “touch or feel” because we could not see. Root canals can now be done painlessly, faster, and more accurately due to new technology available.
Non-surgical Root Canal Therapy
Root Canal Therapy is a dental procedure performed with a local anesthetic, and involves the removal of the nerve inside of the tooth because it has become irreversibly damaged or infected. This is usually due to the entry of bacteria into the center most part of the tooth called the dental pulp (nerve). ROOT CANAL is a commonly used term for endodontic therapy or root canal therapy. This procedure involves the removal of the entire nerve system, as well as cleaning, shaping and 3-dimensional filling of the canal system with gutta percha and a dental sealer. The procedure enables you to keep your natural tooth, which is preferable to any type of replacement.
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What Happens During Root Canal Therapy?
After the tooth is “numbed”, a small opening is made into the pulp chamber, which houses the nerve of the tooth. The canals are located and measured, so they can be cleansed and shaped.
The canals are filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha and the opening is sealed with sterile cotton pellets and a temporary filling.
The tooth is typically restored within a couple of weeks. A crown is placed over the treated tooth in order to protect it.? If the tooth lacks sufficient tooth structure to hold the core build-up, a post may be placed inside. Any areas of infection around the roots will begin to heal.
The number of visits necessary to complete a root canal will vary depending upon the degree of infection, the number of canals in the tooth, if the canals are calcified, the anatomy of your tooth, and the complexity of the procedure. We always strive to achieve the best possible result; therefore, your treatment may take one visit, or it may take more.