Root canals save about 24 million teeth in the U.S. each year. Root canals are used to repair and save a badly decayed or damaged tooth. When a tooth’s infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling result, and if it isn’t treated your tooth may need to be removed. During a root canal, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
Root Canal Benefits
- 92% success rate
- Tooth will not need extraction in the future
- Root canals are not as painful as many believe the tooth causes you pain, but the procedure used to remove it does not
- Your restored tooth can last a lifetime
Root Canal Candidates
For those who have severe tooth decay and injury that has infected the bone, a root canal may be needed. If you have experienced sensitivity to hot or cold foods, random pain or throbbing when biting or touching your tooth, you may need a root canal.
Root Canal Procedure
Most root canal treatments only require one or two visits, not including follow-ups. During the visit, Dr. Witten will numb the affected tooth area. A rubber dental dam may be placed and the tooth is drilled to the pulp area through the top or back of the tooth. Once some pulp has been removed, the root canals are measured with X-rays or electronic imaging devices.
Then all the diseased pulp is removed and the canal is cleaned with an antiseptic solution. The canals are filled with gutta percha, a flexible plastic material, which has a temporary filling put on top. A crown is then placed after there is no more infection, within a month or less.
Root Canal FAQs
What is dental pulp?
Pulp is soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue that lies within the tooth and extends from the tooth’s crown to the tip of the root in the jaw bone.
Will the tooth need special care after the treatment?
No special treatment is needed, but make sure you practice good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing and having regular check-ups and cleanings.
Will I be able to go right back to work after my root canal?
When you leave the office your mouth will feel numb for a few hours because of the local anesthetic, but you will be able to go back to daily activities with no problem. Contact Downtown Dental Associates to learn if root canals are right for you.