A root canal is a dental procedure that is used to save a damaged or infected tooth. The procedure involves removing the damaged or infected pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels) and then cleaning and sealing the inside of the tooth. This procedure often helps patients save their teeth from being pulled.
The Reason Why
The most common reason for a root canal is a deep cavity or a crack in the tooth that allows bacteria to reach the pulp. This can cause an infection or inflammation, which can lead to severe pain and swelling. Other reasons for a root canal may include trauma to the tooth, or a previous large filling that has worn down over time.
What the Procedure Looks Like
During the procedure, the dentist will numb the area around the tooth with local anesthesia. Next, a small opening is made in the top of the tooth to access the pulp. Using special tools, the dentist will remove the infected or damaged pulp, and then clean and shape the inside of the tooth. Once the tooth is cleaned, it is sealed with a material called gutta-percha.
After the procedure, it is normal to experience some pain and sensitivity for a few days. Your dentist will provide you with instructions for how to care for the tooth and take any necessary pain medication.
It is important to note that a tooth that has had a root canal will typically require a crown (cap) to protect it and restore it to full function. Without a crown, the tooth may become brittle and more susceptible to breakage.
Alternate Treatment Options
It's also important to keep in mind that root canal is a common procedure but not always the only option. In some cases, an extraction or even a dental implant may be a better option.
Overall, a root canal can be a highly effective way to save a damaged or infected tooth and prevent the need for an extraction. With proper care, a tooth that has had a root canal can last a lifetime. For more information schedule a consultation with Dr. Schick by calling our office at 403-407-5730.
*all procedures performed at our practice by a general dentist