Root canals are an extremely common, yet feared, treatment for dental problems due to trauma or decay. While the procedure is referenced in popular culture as a terrifying experience, in reality, root canals performed by modern dentists are extremely safe, comfortable, and effective.
During a root canal procedure, we are aiming to treat the pulp of a tooth that is dead or infected. The pulp is made of tissue, blood vessels, and nerves, and plays an important role in the health of our teeth. The pulp chamber continues down past the roots in your teeth into the surrounding bone.
Before the procedure, a local anesthetic may be given. A sheet of latex known as a rubber dam will be placed around the affected tooth to isolate it from saliva and contaminants during the procedure.
The number of visits required for the entire procedure will vary depending on your specific situation. Before the procedure, a local anesthetic may be given. A sheet of latex known as a rubber dam will be placed around the affected tooth to isolate it during the procedure.
In the end, the root canal treatment consists of a few simple steps:
- The doctor makes an opening in the crown of the tooth.
- The pulp is removed, and small instruments are used to clean the root canals and shape them to a form that will be easy to fill.
- Once clean and free of infection, the root canals are filled and sealed with a material that prevents bacteria from reentering. The opening in the crown of the tooth is sealed with a temporary filling. An X-ray is usually taken at this point.
- The temporary filling is replaced with a permanent filling or some other protective covering, such as a crown.
Most patients claim that root canals don’t hurt any more than a typical filling, while others state that the only major difference is added pressure around the tooth during the procedure.
If the root canal is fully cleaned and sealed and the tooth is properly restored, root canal therapy has a very high success rate. Depending on the severity of the infection, it may require more than one visit to complete the procedure. In the meantime, antibiotics are relied upon to help reduce infection.
If you have any lingering questions about gum disease or laser cleanings, or if you would like to schedule a dental exam, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.
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