A root canal is a procedure to let you save your tooth when the tooth’s internal nerves have become damaged or diseased. In most cases, this is recommended so that the tooth can be saved.
This can be caused by several reasons:
- A tooth can fracture and break to the point where the Pulp chamber (area where nerves and connective tissue is) is exposed.
- A cavity can progress to the point that it is deep enough to reach the nerve.
- A severe blow to a tooth can cause the nerve to die and the tooth to become infected
- A tooth having a very large filling, can eventually result in “irreversible pulpitis” a condition that requires treatment.
The Root Canal Procedure is the method by which the damaged/dead/infected nerve tissue is removed, and a sealant is placed inside to fill the canals of the tooth.
Our goal is to try and address dental problems before they become painful. In most circumstances, a patient shouldn’t have pain during the root canal. Adequate anesthesia is given first, and then an access hole is prepared into the tooth to reach the unhealthy nerve.
A combination of small files, both hand and rotary, are used to remove the nerve tissue. After the nerve removal is completed, the space where the nerve was is filled in with a rubber derivative called gutta percha to seal the tooth from the inside out.
Once the root canal is completed, the access for the nerve is filled in with filling material. Sometimes a ceramic or steel post is placed as well. After most root canals are completed, a crown will be recommended. This is done because teeth are normally much more brittle after the root canal and a crown will reinforce it and prevent it from cracking or breaking in the future.