A root canal is a dental procedure during which the infected inner pulp of a tooth is removed. Here, our Edmonton dentists explain more about what to expect during this procedure.
Why might I need a root canal?
The goal of root canal therapy is to save a tooth that has a severe internal infection. Without treatment, such a tooth would otherwise have to be extracted.
The pulp inside of a tooth can become infected with bacteria as the result of a traumatic injury or a deep cavity.
Only your dentist can tell you for sure if you need a root canal, but if you experience symptoms like severe toothache pain, prolonged sensitivity, discolouration, or swelling around the tooth, you may need a root canal.
What happens during the root canal procedure?
The dentist will begin the treatment process by administering anaesthesia to numb the area.
Next, your dentist will create an opening in the tooth and use specialized tools to remove bacteria and dying or dead tissue from inside of it. They will then shape the inner chamber of the tooth and irrigate it with water to rinse away any remaining diseased tissue.
An antimicrobial solution may also be applied to remove any remaining bacteria and reduce the risk of further infection.
Once the chamber has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, your dentist will fill it with a rubber-like material called gutta percha. The dentist will then close the opening in the tooth with a temporary filling, which will seal the tooth until a permanent dental crown can be created for you.
Finally, after a few weeks the dentist will complete the treatment process by placing the dental crown on the tooth to protect it from damage.
With modern dental techniques and technology, root canal therapy has become a relatively comfortable treatment that usually requires only two trips to the dentist to complete.