Telling a patient that a root canal procedure is needed is often met with dread. These feelings should never hold you back from treatment; the reality is if a root canal is needed, the infection is already present. We can provide you with medication to reduce discomfort, remove the infection, and then restore the tooth. Our team at Mike Regan, DMD can help you have a healthier smile.
Why do I need a root canal?
Root canal therapy is a treatment we provide when the inner portion of the tooth has become infected. The inner portion, or pulp, of the tooth becomes infected when bacteria has found its way inside. This can be due to:
How is the infection removed?
To remove the infection, we need to perform a root canal therapy treatment. We begin with ensuring that the patient is comfortable. A root canal procedure itself is not painful, but the infection that is raging inside the tooth is, and as it is exposed to air, it can cause the patient pain. We will apply a local anesthetic and can discuss various conscious sedation options as needed, you don’t have to be in pain. Once the patient is comfortable, we then open the enamel to see inside the tooth. We clean out the infection by removing the inner pulp, the tooth nerve and connective tissue. This pulp material was needed to grow the tooth but once the tooth is fully grown, it no longer is.
We remove the infected material and then wash the tooth with an antibacterial wash. The tooth is then filled with a material that should assist the inner portion of the tooth to remain healthy and infection free. Sometimes, bacteria has traveled through the tiny branches of the root canal, and though we do our best, bacteria can be missed.
With the tooth cleaned and filled, we can then close the enamel with a filling material. Oftentimes, we will place a temporary crown over the tooth and recommend that a permanent dental crown be ordered. Your new crown should be ready in about two weeks. With the new crown, we can remove the temporary crown and cement the permanent crown in place.
Your new crown provides a layer of strength to the tooth that will help keep it healthy and functional longer. With the crown placed, you can now resume full function of the tooth, chewing your favorite foods.