What is a root canal procedure?
Dentists perform root canal at smile eden prairie procedures in order to repair and restore a tooth that is severely infected. The procedure allows dentists to remove infected or dead tissue from inside a tooth, also cleaning out any bacteria that may lead to future infection. Despite their unearned negative reputation, contemporary dental technology has evolved and root canal treatment procedures are often no more painful than a simple filling, and can usually be completed with only one or two visits to the dentist. Your dentist will recommend a root canal when there is infected tissue located deep within your tooth. The tissue in your tooth, called pulp, can become infected either because of damage or injury to the tooth, or because of a cavity that has been left untreated for too long. If left untreated, this infection would continue to worsen, possibly leading to removal of the tooth. The root canal treatment procedure is intended to prevent extraction, saving and repairing an infected tooth.
If your dentist recommends a root canal, you may want to know what to expect. The steps of the procedure are outlined below.
According to the American Association of Endodontists, a root canal treatment is a four-step procedure, usually completed over the course of two office visits. First, the dentist will numb your tooth, using local anesthesia administered with a needle. The needle entering gum tissue will feel like a pinch; it may be uncomfortable, but it is brief. Once the anesthesia has taken effect and the tooth has become numb, the dentist may place a rubber dental dam in your mouth. This small piece of rubber allows the dentist to keep the tooth that’s being treated dry and clean during the procedure. Then, your dentist will use specialized tools, including a dental drill, to gain access to the inside of the tooth by drilling a small hole in an unseen portion of the tooth. For front teeth, this hole is in the back of the tooth; for molars, it is on the crown. Then, the dentist will use other small tools to clear out the inside of the tooth, removing all diseased or damaged pulp with a file or similar tool. The dentist will also use this file to smooth and shape the inside of the tooth, before irrigating the inside of the tooth with water to make sure any residual infected pulp is thoroughly removed. Some dentists then use an antimicrobial solution to clean the inside of the tooth, reducing the risk of further infection.
Once the inside of the tooth has been thoroughly cleaned and treated, the chamber inside the tooth will be filled. Dentists often use a naturally occurring rubber called gutta percha, which is derived from trees, for this filling. Your dentist will then place a temporary filling over the gutta percha, protecting the restored tooth. A few weeks later, your dentist will complete the procedure by installing a permanent crown on the tooth, sealing the restoration. In some cases, the dentist may also stabilize the crown with a small post that’s placed inside the chamber of the tooth, providing support to the structure of the tooth.
After a root canal procedure, you may be asked to schedule follow-up visits, where your dentist will x-ray the treated tooth and ensure that all infection has been eliminated. You will also be expected to establish or maintain healthy oral hygiene habits, including twice-yearly cleanings and daily brushing and flossing. With regular care, a tooth that has been treated with a root canal procedure can remain pain-free and functional for a lifetime.
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