Root canal therapy is a safe and cost-effective procedure for repairing severely damaged or infected teeth that would otherwise need to be removed. Traditionally, teeth with injured, diseased, or dead pulp had to be extracted, leaving behind a space between your teeth. Eventually, you would need to fill the gap with a dental implant, bridgework, or partial denture to restore the complete function and aesthetic of your mouth.
Endodontic treatment (root canal therapy) provides a way to save your tooth and prevent further expenditure in replacement options. The root canal specialist removes the diseased or damaged area at the center of the tooth (pulp), cleans, disinfects, and shapes the site, and then fills it with a material to seal off the root canal.
Pulp damage can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- A deep cavity
- A cracked tooth
- Severe injury to the tooth – due to severe impact
If an infected pulp is left untreated, pus can accumulate at the tip of the root in the jawbone, creating an abscess. Ultimately, this can damage the surrounding area while causing a lot of pain.
What to Expect
If your infected or damaged tooth can be saved with a root canal, your dental team will take X-rays to determine the exact position of decay and extent of tooth damage. Next, they will administer anesthesia to numb the area, and then perform a pulpectomy.
This involves making an opening through the crown of a back tooth or the back of a front tooth in order to remove the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canals will then be cleaned, enlarged, and shaped in preparation for filling.
Next, they will insert a tapered, rubbery substance called gutta-percha into each of the canals and seal it into place with cement. They may also place a metal or plastic rod in the canal to provide structural support.
The final step is crown placement over the tooth in order to restore its natural appearance, strength, and shape.
Schedule your consultation with a root canal specialist
If you are experiencing severe pain or sensitivity to hot and cold drinks, it’s likely that your tooth pulp has been exposed, and you may be a candidate for root canal therapy. Please consult a root canal specialist in Fresno, CA, for professional help.