When the pulp layer of a tooth becomes infected, it is necessary to remove the infection with root canal therapy. In some cases, we need to schedule two appointments to complete the treatment. It is a generally comfortable procedure that saves your tooth and gives you back your healthy smile.
At the first appointment, we start the procedure by numbing the area completely to keep you comfortable. We may also place a rubber dam around the infected tooth to protect your mouth and ensure that nothing falls to the back of your throat while we work.
To get at the infected tooth pulp, we make an opening through the top of the tooth, down into the pulp chamber. We use a tiny instrument called a dental file to carefully clean out the infected tissue and shape the root canals to receive a filling material.
To make sure that all of the infected pulp is removed, we may take x-rays or use other instruments. We then put medicine in the tooth to help it heal and place a temporary restoration to seal it.
At the second appointment, we again make sure you are completely comfortable. Then we remove the temporary restoration and place a filling material into the root canals to seal them.
Finally, we begin the steps necessary to restore the tooth. In most cases, we recommend placing a crown to protect and strengthen your tooth. If the tooth is severely broken down, it may be necessary to start by building up the tooth with a post and core.
The benefits of root canal therapy
Root canal therapy saves your tooth, prevents the spread of infection, and helps you maintain the health of your mouth.