Root canal procedures are necessary to save natural teeth when a tooth has become infected, decayed or damaged beyond what a traditional filling can repair. As their name implies, root canal procedures involve the actual root canals that exist inside your teeth. Because root canal procedures involve working in this deeper, more sensitive part of your tooth near the nerve, many people believe that root canal procedures will be extremely painful and uncomfortable and therefore experience severe fear or anxiety when faced with the prospect of needing a root canal.
Despite their bad reputation, root canal procedures are usually performed quickly and without problems. A root canal is actually quite similar to a traditional filling, and the ultimate goal is always to save an existing tooth.
Below the basics of a root canal procedure are outlined:
Root Canal Prep
Before the actual root canal procedure, you will likely have one or more appointments with Dr. Bray to prepare. Typically, x-rays are taken, and the area of the mouth in question is examined thoroughly. You will also be able to ask any remaining questions or bring up concerns at this appointment.
Just like with a regular filling, the tooth and nearby area will need to be numbed prior to the root canal procedure. An anesthetic will be administered through a needle, and after several minutes, the area will become numb.
This is the step that is referred to when people use the term, “root canal.” After the area is numbed, a small opening will be made in the top of the affected tooth so that Dr. Bray may access the inside of the tooth. Small dental tools will be used to scrape, clean and irrigate the area and remove any remaining infection. The newly-cleaned tooth is then filled with a synthetic material to protect and stabilize the area.
Permanent Crown Placement
After the root canal procedure is complete, the area will be left to heal for several weeks. After the healing phase is over, you will return to Dr. Bray for the placement of a permanent crown. This crown, which will likely be made out of porcelain, will sit on top of the tooth to protect the treated area and help strengthen it against potential future damage.
Root canals play a crucial role in saving natural teeth from extensive decay. If you are in need of a root canal procedure, do not hesitate to contact our office today!