What is a Root Canal?
A “root canal” is a term used to describe the natural cavity in the center of a tooth. This area contains a soft area known as the pulp chamber that houses the nerves. Secondly, if it becomes irritated or infected due to cavities, trauma or decay, root canal therapy is necessary. Furthermore, if left untreated, the infection can cause an abscess, which can lead to swelling of the face and neck, and bone loss around the roots of teeth.
- Severe tooth pain and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Tooth becomes discolored
- Swollen, tender gums
- A reoccurring pimple that forms on the gums
Step 1: Exam
The dentist examines and x-rays the tooth, then administers local anesthetic. After the tooth is numb, the dentist places a small protective sheet called a “dental dam” over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.
Step 2: Open
The dentist makes an opening in the dental crown of the tooth. Very small instruments are used to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals and to shape the space for filling.
Step 3: Fill
The root canals are filled with a biocompatible material, usually a rubber-like material, which is in turn placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals. In most cases, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening. The temporary filling will be removed by your dentist before the tooth is restored.
Step 4: Restore
Finally, your dentist will place the crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.