Root Canal Treatment

By Alderwood Family Dentistry November 23, 2016

Root canal therapy is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth which is decayed or infected. During the root canal treatment, the pulp and nerve are removed and the mouth is cleaned and sealed. The tissue which is surrounding the tooth will become infected if treatment is not given and can result in the formation of abscesses.

The term Root canal is used to describe the natural cavity in the center of the tooth. The pulp chamber or pulp is the soft portion of the root canal. The nerve of the tooth lies within the root canal. A tooth’s nerve is not very much important for the health of a tooth and the function after which the tooth has emerged through the gums. The only function of the tooth’s nerve is to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of the nerve will not affect the functioning of the tooth.

Root canal treatment would require more than one office visit and is performed by a dentist or an endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, causes, treatment of diseases, prevention, and injuries of the nerve of the tooth or the human dental pulp. The choice of which kind of dentist depends on the complexity of the root canal procedure required in your particular tooth and also the general dentist’s comfort level in working on your tooth.

The very first step in the procedure is to take an X-Ray of the decayed area to see the shape of the root canals and determine if there are signs of an infection in the bone surrounding the area. The dentist or an endodontist will use local anesthesia to numb the surrounding area near the tooth. Since the nerve is dead anesthesia may not be necessary but the dentists usually anesthetize the area to make the patient at ease and relaxed. Then a rubber dam is placed around the tooth by the dentist in order to keep the area dry and free of saliva during the treatment.

An access hole is then drilled and the pulp along with the bacteria is removed from the tooth. Using root canal files, the cleaning out prices is accomplished.The tooth is sealed once the cleaning is done. There is a chance for an infection to take place in that particular area and so the dentist will put a medication inside the tooth to clear it up. The interior of the tooth is filled with a sealer paste and a rubber compound called gutta percha at the very next appointment. The final step is the restoration of the tooth with a crown which is placed on that tooth to protect it from breaking.

Root canal treatment has a success rate more than 95%. Teeth fixed with a root canal therapy will last a lifetime. The reasons why the pulp and nerve of the tooth become inflamed and infected are due to deep decay. Good oral hygiene practices such as brushing twice a day and flossing at least once in a day will reduce the need for a root canal procedure.

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