Root Canal Procedure
When tooth decay has been left to progress, it can cause the pulp of your tooth to get infected. This requires a root canal procedure to save the tooth. Root canals are the process of removing the tooth’s pulp and any excess decay and infection. The tooth is then filled to restore it back to its original look, feel, and strength. Root canals can also be used to restore cracked and broken teeth.
Nowadays, having a root canal procedure done is less painful and is the preferred way to treat a tooth that will otherwise die. Having teeth pulled is not as preferred because it can be more costly (especially to repair with an implant) and cause problems with adjacent teeth if left as an open gap. Root canals usually last forever.
Signs that you might need a root canal:
- An abscess on your gums
- Extra sensitivity to cold or hot things
- Severe toothache
- Cracked or broken tooth
What is the procedure?
A root canal can be done by a dentist or endodontist (root canal specialist) in one or two appointments, depending on your situation.
The procedure includes:
- After numbing the affected tooth, Dr. Regan DDS will keep it dry by placing a rubber dam around it.
- An opening will be made and the pulp, tissues, and surrounding decay and infection will all be removed.
- The tooth is then cleaned and filled.
- In the event that another appointment is needed, a temporary filling will be used to protect the tooth in the meantime.
- Otherwise, a strong, permanent filling is used that usually lasts a lifetime.
- Your tooth will be sensitive and sore after the procedure, but this will subside after a few days once healed.
- It is recommended that a cap (crown) be placed over the tooth to protect it from any damage and help keep its functionality.
Contact your dentist if you have any questions about root canals.