Root Canal

Woman at the dentist's chair during a dental procedure

Believe it or not, it’s possible for your teeth to stay with you for a lifetime. It requires diligence, good oral hygiene practices, and consistent visits to your dentist to accomplish this goal. Even with all this effort, it’s entirely possible that you’ll wind up needing a root canal treatment to address certain oral health issues. Elite Dental Group is ready to provide you with the care you need when dental pain appears.

When Are Root Canal Treatments A Required Step?

There are a total of three layers to our dental geology. Each layer of the tooth serves a critical function in preserving our oral health. At the outermost layer, you’ll find the most durable material in the human body, the enamel. Laying under this layer is a softer, slightly yellow material known as dentin that is quite porous. Snug in the center of our tooth can be found dental pulp. This living heart of our tooth can become infected when tooth decay sets in. On occasion, there’s only one way to effectively eliminate this growing decay, and that’s a root canal. Root canal treatments become necessary when:

  • Cracks or chips are present on a tooth
  • Tooth decay has been allowed to advance
  • A dental restoration, such as a filling, becomes unsealed and leaks
  • Complication result from placing a large filling
  • Trauma to the tooth has revealed the dental pulp.

These are all conditions that can expose the pulp to outside bacteria, leading to infections and ultimately tooth extraction if not treated. The infection makes its way into the pulp and the small channels known as canals that it inhabits in the tooth. Root canal treatments use special procedures and tools to eliminate the infected material in the tooth before sealing it up and capping it.

The Steps Involved In A Root Canal

Root canal treatments have long been the boogeyman of dental care, with media and urban legend pushing this misconception along. Contrary to common understanding, root canals are the most effective way to address dental pain when an infection has set in. The process is simple and able to be completed in as little as two visits. The following steps are involved in a root canal:

  • Local Anesthesia – Numbing the area is essential to remove any initial discomfort. A dental dam is also placed to keep the worksite clean.
  • Tooth Opened – Opening the tooth is done with a drill, allowing access to the dental interior and infected pulp. The next point of the process is clearing and disinfecting the tooth’s interior.
  • Filling – Once cleared of infection and disinfected, it’s time to seal up the tooth. This is done with gutta-percha, a rubber-like material.
  • Temporary Filling/Cap – A temporary cover is fixed in place to protect the worksite. A week or so will be allowed to ensure there are no complications with the infection. Once this period passes without incident, a permanent cap will be put in place.

Root canal treatments help save thousands of people each year from severe dental pain and tooth extraction. Preserving the natural tooth material is the best way to provide lasting oral health for our patients. Arrange a visit to our clinic and receive an exam and consultation to get started.

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