A root canal is needed when the nerves and tissue inside the tooth are affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the living tissue inside the tooth or “the pulp,” as well as the nerves of the tooth, and any bacteria, and decay present are removed. The resulting space is filled with a special dental material which restore the tooth to its full function.
Having a root canal done on a tooth is usual method to save a tooth that would otherwise die and have to be removed. It is a common belief that removing a tooth that has problems is the most effective solution, but what is not always realized is that by extracting or pulling a tooth can lead to the adjacent teeth shifting or becoming loose, as well as bone loss due to increased stresses on the other teeth and jaw, all of which can lead to a much more costly solution later.
Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime.
A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments in our Rockville, MD dentist office and is performed by StarBrite Dental’s endodontist – our root canal specialist.
While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva. An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria. If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.
At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with a special dental material. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.
After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.