Root canal therapy is a dental treatment where the contents of the chambers of the tooth’s roots are cleaned out in an attempt to save a tooth damaged due to trauma, infection, or deep decay. While your dentist may elect to perform this procedure, very often the patient is referred to an endodontist, a specialist in the field of root canal therapy.
Root Canal Procedure
Once the need for endodontic therapy has been diagnosed, the procedure itself can be done quickly. After an initial consultation, one visit to the endodontist is usually all that is needed for a successful outcome.
A tooth that requires a root canal may bring multiple symptoms … pain, sensitivity, swelling … however, in some cases there may be no significant symptoms. Your dentist may diagnose the need from a dental x-ray during a normal dental visit. It is important to remember that once the need for a root canal has been determined, this is the only way to save the affected tooth from extraction or eventual loss.
The endodontist will take an x-ray of the tooth to determine the number of roots and their exact location in an effort to make sure all are treated.
The tooth to be treated is segregated with a rubber dam to keep the area dry. Anesthetic is often used for patient comfort. A tiny hole is created in the tooth; endodontic files are employed to remove the root’s contents. The tooth is flushed periodically throughout the procedure and contents suctioned away.
The Final Step
Your endodontist will send you back to your dentist for completion of treatment. A temporary seal prevents bacteria from entering the tooth, but a permanent seal must be applied. Very often, your dentist may elect to wait a week or two to make sure no complications have arisen.
There are a couple of ways to seal the opening that was created for the root canal. Depending on which tooth was treated, your dentist may elect to close the opening with a tooth colored composite resin. But very often a dental crown is used to permanently seal the tooth.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our team today.