A root canal is a type of endodontic treatment where damaged or diseased tissue from deep inside the tooth is carefully extracted so that the remainder of the tooth can be preserved. This type of treatment is done in situations where a standard dental filling isn't sufficient to correct the issue and especially when decay has exposed the root.
A root canal is needed when the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that makes up the interior portion of the tooth are damaged or diseased.This type of infection can cause severe pain, often making it impossible for the patient to use the tooth normally. It may be impossible to chew, bite down, or even drink hot or cold beverages when the tooth pulp is infected. Some patients may even experience swelling around the infected tooth, even to the point that the jaw is visibly swollen.
Root canal therapy takes the infected pulp out and replaces it with a sterile filler called gutta percha. Once the gutta percha is precisely packed into the middle of the tooth, a crown will typically be applied to keep the entire tooth clean and safe from bacteria. A root canal is often the best way to preserve a tooth when there is any level of serious decay.
The first step in root canal therapy is pulp extraction. With local anesthesia Dr. George will carefully drill into the tooth to allow for access to the pulp inside. He will then carefully remove all traces of the infected tissue and will thoroughly clean the canal.
Next, the empty canal is packed with gutta percha. This lends strength to the tooth now that the inner contents are missing. A temporary crown is then applied to your tooth. Dr. George will take an impression of the tooth so that your permanent crown can be created.
After a few weeks, you will return to have the temporary crown removed. The permanent crown is then put into place and secured with dental cement. Your new tooth should be treated and cared for the same as your natural teeth.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!