A general dentist may refer you to an endodontist for a root canal if your tooth has an infection. A root canal aims to repair and save an infected tooth. Via a root canal, an endodontist will remove the nerve and pulp and clean the inside of the tooth.
Why Remove the Pulp?
Removing the pulp helps keep other tissues in your mouth from also receiving an infection. If you don't get it treated, the entire tooth may need to be removed. Infections and abscesses outside the roots can be life-threatening if they spread into the tissues of your head and neck.
What to Expect
First, an endodontist will apply a local anesthetic to numb the tooth. Then, they will place a small protective sheet called a dental dam over the area. This dam helps keep the tooth clean and free from saliva during the root canal procedure.
Next, your endodontist will create a small opening on the crown of the tooth, providing access to the pulp. They will remove the pulp from the chamber and root canal spaces. Then, the endodontist will clean the root canal.
Root canals are typically filled and sealed with a rubber-like material before placing a temporary filling. The filling helps to prevent contamination in the hole. At your next visit, the endodontist will remove your temporary filling, restoring the tooth with a crown or filling.
Have a deep tooth infection in one or more of your teeth? You might need a root canal to save that tooth.
Every tooth has a soft inner section of tissue known as the pulp. This is where you find all of your tooth’s delicates: nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. If bacteria find their way into the pulp via a crack in your tooth or deep cavity, this can cause pain, inflammation, and infection.
Why Remove the Pulp?
If your tooth’s pulp is damaged or infected, you’ll know it, thanks to all of the pain and swelling. The pulp may require removal to keep other tissues in your mouth from getting infected.
If bacteria attacks the bone beneath the tooth, you’re in serious trouble. Infections and abscesses outside the roots can be life-threatening if they spread into the tissues of your head and neck. If you don’t get it treated fast, you're going to need a full tooth extraction, no questions asked.
Removing a tooth isn’t always the end of your problems… Sometimes it’s the beginning of greater issues.
Teeth surrounding the extraction may shift or tilt slightly. This can make chewing difficult. Cleaning may also become challenging, which sets you up for the risk of gum disease.
A root canal can save the your natural tooth and keep you from having to deal with these problems.
How the Treatment Works
- First, we numb the tooth and place a thin sheet of latex rubber to keep it isolated and clean. We then make an opening through the crown of the tooth to give us access to the pulp.
- Through this opening, we remove the pulp from the chamber and root canal spaces. We then clean and shape each root canal for the filling.
- Your dentist may medicate the area afterward to get rid of bacteria before finishing the root canal.
- Your root canal is usually filled and sealed with a rubber-like material. Then, we place a temporary filling in the access hole to prevent contamination.
- Next, your temporary filling is removed, and the tooth is restored with a crown or filling to strengthen it.
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