A root canal wilmington nc procedure is performed with the goal of getting you out of pain and saving a compromised tooth. When your tooth becomes infected, an Endodontist can relieve your pain and keep you from needing to have an extraction. Advances in technology allow the doctor to complete your procedure in only one or two visits!
When is a Root Canal Necessary?
If your Dentist suspects that you have an infection in the pulp inside the roots of your teeth, they may refer you to an Endodontist for an evaluation for root canal therapy. The pulp can become infected due to a significant cavity or if the tooth sustains an injury. To save the tooth from needing to be extracted, your Endodontist can clean out the canals of the root and remove the infected pulp.
Step by Step Process for Root Canal Therapy
Depending on the tooth being treated, the Endodontist may treat you over the course of two visits. The anterior teeth can usually be treated in one visit. Molars may require two trips.
- First: The Endodontist will apply a topical numbing agent to the tissue that is to receive the injection of a local anesthetic. The needle usually does give you a little pinching sensation but you will not feel much after it kicks in! The doctor will then isolate the tooth being treated with a rubber dental dam which will keep the tooth dry and clean during treatment. They may also place a bite block to prop your mouth open which is very helpful to the patient.
- Second: The dentist will use a small drill to create a hole in your tooth to access the canals. Tiny files are then used to remove the infected pulp and may use water to help clear the canal. Once all of the infection has been removed, an antimicrobial solution is put in the chamber to eradicate any remaining bacteria to keep the tooth from becoming reinfected.
- Third: After the canals are clean and clear, they are dried and filled with a material called gutta-percha and place a tiny piece of cotton before filling the access hole with a temporary filling. This filling is only meant to protect the area for a short amount of time so while you may feel that everything is fine, it is important to return to your Dentist to have a permanent filling placed to ensure the integrity of the tooth structure.
- Fourth: This final step involves your regular Dentist. The temporary filling, cotton tip, and gutta-percha are removed so that a permanent core build-up can be placed in the canals. This is topped off with a permanent filling. If the structure of the tooth is compromised, a crown may be placed instead of a filling.
After Root Canal Therapy
As always, it is important to practice good oral hygiene and visit your Dentist regularly. Consider using antibacterial products in your oral care if you do not already. They can help fight bacteria and keep your mouth healthy. A root canal treated tooth can last the rest of your life when properly cared for.
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