What are Root Canals?
A root canal is a procedure that involves taking out the inner pulp, or nerve, of a compromised tooth. The tooth might have become severely decayed or has broken enough to expose the inner pulp. Because the pulp houses the nerves vital to keeping the tooth strong, many patients whose pulps have been damaged or exposed will experience severe toothache and sensitivity. To eliminate this pain without removing the tooth, we can perform a root canal to take out the pulp.
Why would a Root Canal be needed?
Most commonly, patients will need a root canal because a tooth has become severely decayed. The decay might have been able to reach inside of the tooth to the point of infecting the pulp. If a tooth has broken or cracked, it might have gone deep enough to expose the pulp itself. If this happens, we will need to remove the pulp to eliminate any pain you’re experiencing.
What makes someone a candidate for a Root Canal?
One of the most common signs of needing a root canal is severe pain and sensitivity to both hot and cold liquids. For example, you might not be able to drink a cold glass of water or a hot cup of coffee because a sharp pain shoots through the tooth. We will determine if a root canal is needed with an exam and x-rays. This allows us to see if the pulp has been impacted and if it needs to be removed.
What happens during the Root Canal procedure?
The root canal procedure will begin with anesthetic to numb one whole area of the mouth. We then isolate the tooth using a rubber dental dam. This dental dam is responsible for keeping any bacteria within the mouth out of the tooth while it is open and being worked on. We then remove decay from the tooth as well as the pulp itself. The canals of the roots are cleaned thoroughly and filled with a medicated material known as gutta-percha. The tooth will then be filled and closed before removing the dental dam.
If you’re interested in learning more about root canals and how they’re performed, call our office today to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members.