Root canal is a specialized treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it completely. The root canal procedure involves removing and repairing the damaged area of the tooth, commonly known as the pulp, cleaning and disinfecting it and then filling and sealing it the tooth back to its natural state.
Some of the common causes affecting the pulp could be a deep cavity, cracked tooth, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma to the same tooth. The term "root canal" itself comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth’s root and then repairing the damaged canal.
Don’t worry about the old myth that root canals are painful as that was many decades ago. With today’s dental advances and local anesthetics, most people have little if any pain with a root canal and that is especially true with Rocklin Smiles where we have successfully and done hundreds of pain free root canals.
So, what is a Root Canal in technical terms?
Root canal treatment consists of several different steps that typically take place over several office visits, depending on the situation and severity. These steps include:
- The endodontist examines and x-rays the tooth, then local anesthesia is administered to the affected tooth.
- A dental dam is usually placed over the affected tooth to isolate it and keep it free from saliva.
- The endodontist makes an opening through the back of a front tooth or the crown of a molar or pre-molar to remove the diseased pulp, called a pulpectomy.
- Next, the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned and shaped in preparation for a filling.
- The endodontist fills the root canal with guttapercha material.
- If more than one visit is needed, a temporary filling is placed in the crown opening to protect the tooth between dental visits. The temporary filling is removed and the pulp chamber and root canal are permanently filled with guttapercha into each of the canals and is sealed in place with cement.
- Sometimes a metal or plastic rod is placed in the canal for structural support. In the final step, a crown is usually placed over the tooth to restore its natural shape and appearance. If the tooth is broken, a post may be required to build it up prior to placing a crown.
To schedule an appointment and learn more call the friendly staff at Rocklin smiles today at 916.624.3119.