If tooth decay becomes severe enough, it can eventually infect the tooth pulp, which is made up of the tooth’s essential nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. At this point a root canal treatment is necessary to try to salvage the extensive damage in order to save the tooth from full tooth loss.
A root canal, or endodontic treatment, essentially involves the dentist removing the infected pulp from the affected area and thoroughly cleaning the area. Left untreated, the infection can cause severe pain and even spread to other surrounding areas. An untreated infection or inflammation can also lead to tooth loss.
A root canal can repair and salvage what is left from a severely affected tooth. Receiving a root canal treatment is your best chance of recovering your tooth from extensive damage from decay and infection. Root Canals also protect your tooth from further decay or becoming re-infected.
First, we will administer a local anesthetic to the area that will be receiving the root canal. Once the area is numb, we will then place a protective sheet (dental dam) over the area so we can isolate the tooth and prevent any infected pulp from interacting with other teeth.
Next, we will use a small dental tool to drill a small opening into the affected tooth. Through the opening, we will use small instruments to remove the infected pule and clean the area. Afterward, we will seal the root canals with a material called gutta-percha. Then we will allow time for your roots to heal completely before we go back and fill the tooth with dental filling. Finally, we will place a dental crown over the tooth to further strengthen it and support the added filling.