What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it and then filling and sealing it. The common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma. The term "root canal" comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth's root.
What to expect during a Root Canal?
Our goal is for our patients to be comfortable as much as possible. If the pulp has an active infection, it may take longer to get numb compared to doing a filling. Dr. Thodas and Tran will make sure you are completely numb before we start treatment.
A ring will be placed around the tooth with a dental dam to isolate it from the rest of the mouth. This will prevent anything from falling in the back of the mouth and prevent bacteria from contaminating the tooth.
The diseased and dead pulp tissue is removed from the tooth with specially designed instruments used to clean out the root canals and pulp chamber. This is not painful; the area is numb and the tissue being removed is either dead or dying. Once the pulp, along with the nerves contained in it, is removed, the tooth itself can no longer feel pain.
Root canal fillings made of rubber-like material called gutta percha will exactly fit into the freshly prepared canals.
A temporary or permanent filling material will then be placed to seal the access hole that was made to treat the canals, and the dental dam is removed.
After-effects of treatment are minimal, generally lasting from a couple of days to about a week. It is normal to have some minor discomfort after treatment including slight soreness that can usually be managed with over-the-counter (aspirin, ibuprofen) medications
Your tooth will need a permanent restoration — crown — to replace lost tooth structure and provide a complete seal to the top of the tooth.