Root Canal Therapy is when infected and inflamed nerve tissue causing tooth pain is removed, cleaned and sealed. This procedure allows the tooth to remain in the patients mouth to function properly without causing pain. It is typically performed in one visit, however in some circumstances a second visit may be needed.
The first step to a successful root canal is getting the patient numb so they will be comfortable throughout the procedure. We then isolate the tooth and gain access to the infected nerve tissue through the chewing surface of the tooth. If there is any decay in the tooth it is also removed at this time. Once accessed, the infected nerve tissue is removed all the way to the apex of the tooth root. The canal in which the nerve tissue resides is then shaped and sterilized to ensure there is no more infection to cause pain. Then the tooth root is sealed with a material called gutta percha, and inert rubber like material that fits precisely into the prepared root. During this process, x-rays will be taken to ensure the proper fit and seal of this material. Once in place the tooth is temporized with a filling material to allow the tooth to heal.
Although the nerve tissue inside the tooth is removed, there are still nerve fibers that remain on the exterior of the tooth connecting it to he bone. These fibers can become hyper sensitive post treatment and it is important to allow the tooth to heal. We suggest limiting the use of the are with chewing food to a minimum for the next 2-3 days. It can take up to two weeks for this tooth to heal properly. Once healed, the temporary filling material is removed and replaced with a permanent filling material called a post and core. This stabilizes the tooth and prepares it for the final restoration, a crown. The crown ensure the tooth is strong enough to support the full force of the patients bite with and without food.
In our office we use all the current technology to gain a successful outcome for our patients. Typical time of a root canal can range from 45 min to 1.5 hours, depending on the tooth size and quantity of roots needing treatment. The cost varies based on the size and difficulty. Also, if you have dental insurance, it will cover a portion of the procedure and you would be responsible for your copayment. Our knowledgeable staff can help you understand all your financial requirements before any treatment is provided here in this office. If you are looking for root canal treatment or are having tooth pain, call our office and set up an appointment.