What is a Root Canal?
The root of your tooth is below the gum line and not visible. The root canal is the term used to describe the pulpy center of the root. A root canal procedure is used to repair and save a natural tooth that is badly decayed or has become infected.
Root canals are common dental procedures and contribute significantly to people keeping their natural teeth in place. Without treatment, an abscess could form, and the tooth could die, requiring extraction.
Why Do I Need a Root Canal Procedure?
The most common causes are a cracked or chipped tooth, a decaying cavity or filling, or trauma. Any of these instances can allow bacteria to enter the pulp. The root of tooth houses the pulp, which contains blood vessels and nerves. If the pulp becomes injured, inflamed, or infected, it must be treated before it progresses and causes the tooth to die and fall out.
Your family dentist in Lincoln, CA will drill through the tooth and remove the nerve and pulp. Damaged pulp can breed bacteria if left untreated and the tooth will become infected and spread to the surrounding tissues and jawbone. The cavity is cleaned and filled with dental material and sealed shut.
Step by Step
Depending on the nature of your injury, it may require up to several visits to complete the necessary root canal steps.
• Your dentist will numb the area to eliminate pain. The crown of the tooth is drilled through to provide an opening into the pulp chamber.
• The entire pulp is removed, and the area is cleaned and prepped for filling
• Your dentist may apply medicine to kill off any remaining bacteria.
• Once clean and bacteria-free, the canal is filled with a rubber-like material to seal it shut.
• If no other treatment is necessary, a permanent filling or crown will be placed.
• You may be prescribed antibiotics or other medicines. Follow the dentist’s instructions and call if you have any questions or issues with the medication.
• If additional time or procedures are anticipated, a temporary filling or crown will be placed until the dentist can replace it with a permanent solution.