Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is a non-surgical dental procedure that is performed to remove an infection from inside a tooth.
The procedure is also useful in protecting the tooth from future infections. It is done in three main steps and usually takes one visit to complete. Before your root canal therapy, pre-operative radiographs of the tooth are necessary.
What is an endodontic treatment and why would I need one?
Endodontic treatment is aimed at treating the inside of the tooth. The tooth is comprised if a white enamel and a hard layer known as the dentin. The soft tissue in the teeth is known as the pulp and this contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.
Endodontic treatment may be necessary when the pulp in the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. This can be caused by a wide range of factors including deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth or a cracked or chipped tooth. In addition, sudden impact to the tooth may also lead to damage of the pulp which may later result in infection or inflammation causing pain and may also lead to an abscess.
Pulp damage is characterized by symptoms such as pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, swelling and tenderness of affected area and more.
The root canal therapy process
This imagery of the tooth and root helps to offer a clear evaluation of the severity of the damage. After this examination, the procedure can proceed, following these steps:
Cleaning the root canal – You’ll first receive a local anesthetic to ensure the process is as painless and comfortable as possible.
Once the area becomes numb, our dentist will isolate the tooth and create a microscopic access hole on the tooth surface. Through this hole, the infected and damaged pulp tissues are removed using endodontic files.
Filling the root canal – Once the unwanted tissue and bacteria in the root canal are removed, our dentist will clean, shape, and disinfect the hollow area. This is accomplished using irrigation solutions and endodontic files. Afterward, a rubber-like material is used to fill the void in the tooth before sealing it entirely with a bioceramic cement.
Dental filling or crown placement – After root canal therapy, the tooth becomes delicate. A crown or filling needs to be placed on the tooth to prevent the tooth from fracturing. Before you get a crown or filling, it’s important to avoid biting or chewing on the tooth. After getting the crown or filling, however, you can use the tooth as usual.
After the Procedure
What can I expect after the procedure?
Root canal therapy is typically done in one sitting. However, if you have a severe infection, curved canals, or multi-canals, the procedure may require two appointments to complete. This procedure is one of the most effective treatments for saving a natural tooth.
Several studies show that at least 90 percent of teeth treated with root canal therapy survived for at least eight years. It is essential to practice proper oral hygiene to increase the chance of survival for your root canal treated tooth.
After the procedure, we recommend avoiding eating on the same side as treatment was performed due to the fact that there will be a temporary filling placed. This temporary filling usually lasts 4-6 weeks to give you enough time to schedule for the permanent restoration from your general dentist.