When you encounter biting tooth pain or sensitivity that won’t go away, you often face two options: a tooth extraction or root canal therapy. The latter is the more conservative and recommended treatment option, as it allows you to preserve both your tooth and a confident smile. But how exactly does it work?
Root canal therapy is a dental procedure to relieve pain in an infected or abscessed tooth. Here’s a simplified breakdown of how it works:
- Anesthesia. The first step is to numb the infected tooth and its surrounding gum tissue using local anesthesia. This prevents you from feeling pain throughout the procedure.
- Dental Dam. A dental dam is placed around the tooth to isolate it and prevent you from swallowing any chemicals used during the procedure.
- Removing the Pulp. Your dentist will drill a small access hole through your tooth’s crown, allowing them to remove the infected pulp using special dental files.
- Filling the Root Canal. Once the pulp has been removed, the dentist will clean and disinfect the hole. They’ll then enlarge the root canal using the dental files. Once they are satisfied that the root canal has a regular shape, they’ll fill it with a rubbery substance called gutta-percha.
- Sealing Your Tooth. To prevent your tooth from getting re-infected, your dentist will place a temporary dental filling.
- Final Restoration. During a follow-up appointment, the temporary filling will be removed and replaced with a permanent root canal filling. Your dentist may also recommend that they help you protect this filling by adding a custom-fabricated dental crown. This will effectively restore your tooth, as well as your bite.
If you’re experiencing persistent tooth pain and want to know whether root canal therapy is the right solution for you, don’t hesitate to contact us today.