Root canal therapy, also known as endodontic therapy, is a procedure where the contents of the canals of the tooth’s root are removed. These include nerves, pulp, and blood tissues. A root canal is most often performed on a tooth that is infected in an effort to save the tooth.
When a root canal is performed, the dentist will take an x-ray to determine how many roots are involved and the position they are in to facilitate reaching all of the canals. Failure to ascertain and treat all canals can result in the need for re-treating the tooth to prevent infection advancement, possibly an abscess.
Once the x-ray is taken, the tooth is segregated by a rubber dam. This will keep the tooth dry and allow the dentist to remove the contents before they can be swallowed.
The tooth will be opened with the use of a drill to create access to the canals. A file is then used to penetrate the opening and will wrap the contents of the canals around the file for removal. After debris is removed, the area is flushed.
The condition of the tooth will dictate what happens next. If there is no infection present, the tooth may be filled with a rubbery substance called gutta percha. This will add stability to the tooth by filling the cavities. At this point the tooth must be sealed.
Depending on the location of the tooth treated, the opening may be sealed with a tooth colored filling made from composite resin, a plastic material that is placed in stages and cured with each placement.
For a molar tooth, the tooth is more likely to be sealed with a dental crown. Because a crown must be fabricated, immediate placement after a root canal is unlikely. In this case, a temporary covering is placed until the final restoration can be seated.
After the crown is cemented in place, the tooth is sealed and will not require any special care. A root canal will not alter the tooth as once a tooth has erupted, the contents of the canals are no longer essential.
Daily flossing and brushing will help keep all your teeth healthy. Our dental team will provide instructions on how to floss properly after a crown has been placed. Call 972-264-5795 for more information today.