Root canal treatment is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, all the living tissue inside the tooth, including pulp and nerves, is removed and the resulting space is filled with special medicated dental materials called guttapercha. A crown is then placed over the top to restore the tooth to its full function.
Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is a good solution, but extracting a tooth may ultimately be more costly and can cause problems for adjacent teeth.
To start your endodontics treatment and care at our practice, we’ll take digital X-rays of your teeth and jaw to search your mouth to pinpoint exactly where the trouble spot is. Once you’re in the chair, we’ll numb the immediate area and isolate the tooth that we’re going to work on. In order to access the affected tooth structure, we’ll make a small access hole in the tooth. Through this hole, we will remove any damaged or infected pulp from the canals in the tooth’s root – that’s where the name “root canal” comes from! We’ll take another set of X-rays to ensure that all the affected tissue has been removed before filling the canals with a medication to kill any remaining bacteria. Finally, we’ll place a filling in the tooth to keep bacteria out. We often recommend that patients also get a dental crown placed on top of the tooth to give it extra strength and protection.