Root Canal Therapy

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

There are only two treatment options when a nerve dies in your tooth: extraction or root canal therapy. Your general dentist may perform a root canal or refer you to a specialist called an endodontist. Here's what this painless procedure consists of:

Your dental professional will administer a local anesthetic so that you feel no pain and will cover your mouth with a rubber dam to keep it clean and saliva-free.

  •  An opening is made in the tooth to access the pulpal area.
  •  Pulp tissue is removed with small instruments and the canals are cleaned and prepared for filling them.
  •  A rubbery dental material is placed in the canals of the tooth.
  •  A temporary filling may be placed in the tooth to protect it until your next visit.

Because the tooth is no longer vital and can be prone to fracture, most dentists recommend a full crown after completing the root canal treatment.

Maintaining good dental hygiene, visiting your dentist regularly, and protecting your teeth from injury can help prevent a dead nerve in a tooth. But if the nerve dies, root canal therapy will keep your smile intact.

What to Expect During a ROOT CANAL

If you think you need a root canal, consult your dentist. There are a number of steps that occur over a few office visits.

1. X-ray – if a dentist suspects you may need a root canal, he will first take X-rays or examine existing X-rays to show where the decay is located.
2. Anesthesia – local anesthesia is administered to the affected tooth. Contrary to popular belief, a root canal is no more painful than a filling.
3. Pulpectomy – an opening is made, and the diseased tooth pulp is removed.
4. Filling – the roots that have been opened (to get rid of the disease pulp) are filled with guttapercha material and sealed off with cement.

Tips for Care After a ROOT CANAL

A treated and restored tooth can last a lifetime with proper care. Root canals have a high success rate. Here are a few ways to take care of your teeth after a root canal:

  • Practice good oral hygiene – brush teeth twice a day, and floss at least once. Taking care of your teeth can help prevent future problems.
  •  Visit the dentist regularly – cleanings and examinations by dentists and hygienists.
  •  Avoid chewing on hard foods – chewing on hard foods such as ice can cause teeth to break, and can harm root canals.


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