Root canal treatment is used to repair and save the tooth instead of removing it if you have a severely damaged, decaying or a seriously infected tooth.
Pulp is soft tissue inside your tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels and provides nourishment for your tooth. It can become infected if you have:
- A deep cavity
- Repeated dental procedures that disturb this tissue
- A cracked or fractured tooth
- Injury to the tooth
- Abscess or infection
A root canal treatment usually takes 1-3 visits to complete. There is little to no pain because we will use local anesthesia so you don’t feel the procedure. Once completed, you should no longer feel the pain you felt before having it done.
Before treatment begins, we will:
- Take an X-ray to get a clear view of your tooth and its’ surrounding bone.
- Numb the area around and including your tooth so you are comfortable during the treatment.
- Put a thin sheet of latex rubber over your tooth to keep it dry, clean and protected from viruses, bacteria and fungus that are normally in the mouth.
During treatment, we will:
- Create an opening in the top of your tooth.
- Remove the tooth’s nerve from inside the tooth and in the areas in the root, known the root canal.
- Clean inside the tooth and each root canal. We may treat the tooth with germ-killing medicine.
- Fill the root canals with a rubber-like material to seal them against future infection.
- Place a temporary filling on the tooth to protect it until a definitive restoration like a permanent filling or crown can be placed at the earliest opportunity.
After root canal treatment:
- Your tooth and the area around it may feel sensitive for a few days. You can talk with us about how to relieve any discomfort you may have.
- We may prescribe antibiotics if the infection spread. Use as directed, and follow up with us if you have any problems taking it.
You will need a follow-up visit after the root canal treatment. At this visit, we will remove the temporary filling on the tooth and replace it with a regular filling or a crown to protect your tooth from further damage. A metal or plastic post may also be placed in the root canal to help make sure the filling materials remain in place. This helps support a crown if you need one.
With the correct care, your restored tooth can last a lifetime. Be sure to brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste, clean between your teeth once a day and see us regularly to make sure your teeth are strong and healthy.