Every tooth has a root canal. This term refers to the natural cavity located at the center of a tooth where the soft tissue (pulp) and nerves are located. When a tooth is damaged (cracked or chipped), bacteria or debris to enter the root canal and cause an infection. If the root canal becomes infected, it can cause significant pain. A root canal procedure is necessary to remove the infection and relieve the tooth pain.
About the Root Canal Procedure
A root canal procedure may require more than one visit. A comprehensive exam and diagnostic x-rays will reveal infection in the tooth and surrounding area. A small access hole is drilled into the tooth and the diseased or infected tissue is removed. The inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and polished. In some cases, the root canal may be temporarily sealed to allow the infection to heal completely.
Once the infection is eliminated, the root canal is filled with gutta percha, a biocompatible rubber compound. A filling or dental crown will cover the tooth to add strength as well as protection from future damage.
Is a Root Canal Painful?
Most people associate root canals with extreme pain. In fact, the root canal procedure is no more painful than having a dental filling. The pain and discomfort come from the actual infection, rather than the procedure. Patients who undergo root canal therapy experience significant relief after their treatment. Root canals have a success rate of 95% and allow people to preserve their natural teeth.
In some cases, a patients tooth is too damaged to rehabilitate with root canal therapy and a tooth extraction is required. Dr. Moses will perform the tooth extraction and provide treatment to replace the missing tooth. Replacement options may include a dental bridge or dental implant.