What is a root canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that is required when the tooth’s nerve (pulp) has become infected or inflamed and there is no other option for repair.
Reasons for Root Canal Procedure
There are several reasons why you may require a root canal procedure. These reasons include:
- Tooth infection
- An exposed nerve of a cracked or broken tooth
- A dead tooth
The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal. When the nerve tissue is damaged, bacteria will increase within the root canal and can cause the tooth to become abscessed. An abscess is an infection that has spread past the ends of the tooth’s root. An abscess can cause:
- Bone loss around the tip of the root
- A hole to form in the side of the tooth leading to drainage into the gums, cheeks, and skin
- Swelling that can spread to other areas of the face, neck or head
What is the procedure?
Your dentist will first use a local anesthesia to numb your mouth. A rubber dam will be placed around the infected area to separate it from the rest of your mouth. This precaution is taken to protect your throat and the rest of your mouth in the event that the abscess erupts during the procedure. Then the dentist will make an opening through the top of the tooth in order to access the pulp chamber and use a dental file to remove the infected tissue. Once the infected tissue is removed, the canal is filled and an x-ray is taken to make certain that all of the infected pulp has been removed.
It usually takes one or two visits to complete the root canal procedure. After the procedure, the tooth is often very weak and will need a cap or crown to protect the area and aid in the recovery.
Are there other options to the root canal procedure?
The only other option to the root canal procedure is to have the tooth removed.
Be sure to keep up with your regular check-ups and maintain a good oral care routine. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Kush Patel, Dr. Krutav Patel and the team at Fullerton Craft Smiles are ready to help you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.