In cases where the nerves within the tooth become infected, a root canal may save it before the situation develops too far. However, when a cavity, fracture or trauma becomes so extensive that it affects the pulp of the tooth in any way, or when all other options for saving the tooth have been exhausted, the best course of action is often extraction. We also offer extractions for particularly troublesome wisdom teeth.
What is a Root Canal?
Beneath the outer layer of white enamel in the tooth is a hard layer called dentin. Underneath that layer is a much softer tissue referred to as pulp. Pulp is critical to the development of teeth but is no longer needed once a tooth has fully matured. A root canal involves the removal of pulp from inside the root of the tooth when it has become infected.
Root Canal Procedure
As a first step to the root canal procedure, x-rays of the affected tooth are taken to examine the situation closely. The dentist will then administer a local anesthetic to numb the area.
An opening will be made in the tooth’s crown to allow the pulp to be cleaned out from inside the pulp chamber and root canals. Once all the infected material is removed, the hollowed area will be filled with biocompatible material.
The opening is then closed off with a temporary filling that is later replaced by a more permanent solution such as a crown.
The first stage of the procedure is to numb the area using a local anesthetic. Once the area is numb, forceps are used to firmly grasp the tooth and rock it back and forth, creating enough space for the tooth to be entirely separated from its ligament.
While you may experience some pressure during the procedure, you should not experience any pain.
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