Root canal therapy is the removal of the tooth pulp and cleaning of the root canals. It is a complex dental procedure which can only be done by licensed dentists. Since it removes the internal parts of the tooth, it is considered a surgical procedure. It also requires anesthesia and proper preparation to accomplish the best results.
When Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?
You will need root canal therapy if you experience:
- A severely damaged tooth. When a tooth gets fractured, it can easily be fixed by dental restorations. However, if the fracture has exposed the root canal, the pulp may not be able to be covered up with prosthetics. Prior to the placement of the dental restoration, the pulp must first be removed through root canal therapy.
- A deeply decayed tooth. If decay in a tooth has reached the pulp, the infection may spread into the root canals. This is what causes sensitivity and/or extreme pain inside the tooth. It is also the number one reason why patients need root canal treatment.
How is Root Canal Therapy Done?
Root canal therapy is a major surgical procedure which requires careful planning and execution. There are several steps involved in this treatment. These are:
Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
Before you undergo this treatment, one of our dentists will first examine your tooth carefully and make a final diagnosis to ensure that root canal therapy is the best solution. This can be done through X-ray imaging and clinical assessment. Once your dentist has confirmed that the tooth needs root canal therapy, you may be able to have the surgery on the same day or schedule it for another time.
On your scheduled day of surgery, you will be given an anesthetic to numb the tooth and area around it during treatment. You can also opt for IV Sedation if desired.
Once the anesthetic has kicked in, the dentist will clean your tooth thoroughly and put a rubber dam over it. The rubber dam not only keeps infectious matter from coming in contact with other teeth, but it also keeps the area dry during treatment.
Then, your dentist will drill a small hole through the top of the tooth to provide access to your root canals. The hole must be deep enough to expose the pulp which is located at the very center of the tooth.
Removal of Pulp
Once the infected pulp is exposed, it will be cut off and removed from the root canals. Cutting the pulp also cuts the nerves connected to the alveolar bone. Without nerves, the treated tooth loses all of its sensation, which means it will no longer experience any sensitivity. The pulp is safe to remove because it does not have any other function apart from connecting the nerves to the tooth.
Cleaning of Root Canals
Without the pulp, the root canals will now be empty and exposed. Using endodontic files, our dentists will clean out the canals and remove all signs of infection. The files come in various sizes and angles, allowing dentists to efficiently clean all the nooks and crannies inside the canals.
Disinfection and Sealing
After thorough cleaning and close examination, the root canals will now be disinfected using an antiseptic. This will prevent the root from reinfection and prepare the canals for sealing. A sealant called gutta percha will be applied inside the root canals. The inside of the tooth remains hollow due to the removal of the occlusal surface. To cover up the hole, the tooth will be filled with composite bonding material which will also protect the inside of the tooth from further decay.
Restoration and Follow-ups
Depending on the size of the hole your dentist made to reach the pulp you may need a partial or complete crown restoration. Keeping the tooth exposed may allow bacterial infection inside it. If you choose to get a dental restoration such as a crown, your tooth will be reshaped into an abutment to accommodate the tooth cap.
Your dentist will take an impression of your tooth and have our in-house dental lab fabricate the new crown or restoration. This process will take about two weeks. During this time, you will be given a temporary crown to protect your tooth.
As soon as our lab has the crown ready, we will call you back in to have it cemented into place. When you come in for your consultation, your dentist will examine how your tooth has responded to root canal treatment and make sure everything is doing well. The crown will then be cemented over your tooth and one final check and adjustment will be made before you are sent home.
Get Root Canal Treatment from the Best Coos Bay Dentist
Named as the best dentist in the South Coast in 2013, 2014, and 2015 by The World, we at Above Dental are very proud to offer our dental treatments to everyone within the Coos Bay and North Bend areas. Our renowned dentists are highly skilled at performing root canal therapy and they will do everything to save your tooth from extraction.
If you would like to get a free consultation regarding your endodontic problems, please don’t hesitate to call us at (541) 756-0155 or send us an online message through our contact page. Our dental team will assist you in getting the right treatment for your dental concerns.