Root Canal Therapy
Root Canal Treatment To Restore Damaged Teeth And Oral Health
Endodontic dentistry is a savor when it comes to preserving natural teeth. Not so long ago, teeth with infected roots were extracted, leaving the gums exposed and requiring the need for bridges or partial dentures. With several advancements in dental technology, dentists are proud to be able to restore more natural teeth than ever before, even when the insides have become infected.
When an infection is detected on the inside of a tooth, a root canal is the most effective treatment to save the tooth from extraction. Even though modern replacement teeth appear and function similar to natural teeth, dentists agree – there are no better alternatives to your original teeth. With root canal therapy, patients can be sure they are making the best decision for the overall health and functioning of their mouth in the long run.
What is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy targets the inner workings of the tooth. Teeth are composed of blood vessels, referred to as the ‘pulp’; which develops the surrounding tooth we see on the surface. When a tooth becomes decayed, the infection can spread to the pulp if not treated quickly. Once the inside of the tooth becomes diseased, the only way to save the tooth from extraction is by root canal therapy. This procedure removes the decayed pulp from the tooth and replaces the space with composite materials to protect it from future infection.
The Root Canal Process
The length of time needed for a root canal will always vary based not the scope of your treatment. Root canal therapy can take up to three visits to complete for complex cases and one appointment for patients with mild conditions. Initially, your dentist will provide you with a sedation method to relax and numb you for the procedure. Your dentist will then secure a ‘dental dam’ to protect the area from contamination of saliva and mouth bacteria. Once placed, your dentist will make a small opening on the surface of the tooth to create a passage for the removal of infected pulp. When the pulp is removed, the space left will be filled using a biocompatible rubbery material called ‘gutta-percha’; This material protects the root from further infection by acting as barrier similar to the pulp. The filling is sealed in with cement on the surface, finishing off the root canal. In cases where the top of the tooth is severely decayed, your dentist will most likely recommend placing a porcelain crown for further protection again cracking and cavities. The crown may take some time to create in the exact shape, size, and tint needed to match your smile so that a temporary crown will be placed in the meantime. Once your porcelain crown is completed, you will return for the bonding appointment as the final step of your tooth restoration.