Root canal therapy can now be performed quickly, efficiently, and virtually pain-free due to advances in modern dentistry. Patients at our Novato Family Dentist office often say their root canal therapy was not nearly as difficult as they thought it would be. Because it is a necessary procedure for most patients, it’s important to understand that it can be as manageable as any other dental procedure.
What is a root canal?
The actual root canal is a natural pocket deep within your tooth. It contains the nerve and pulp tissue of the tooth. If your tooth is infected or your teeth are severely decayed, your dentist will need to perform a root canal to prevent any bacteria from spreading to surrounding tissues and possibly causing an infection. During root canal therapy the nerve and pulp are removed from the tooth followed by cleansing of the canal, and finally sealing it.
Why is a root canal necessary?
Left untreated, the damaged nerve and tooth pulp create a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. Once the bacteria spread to the root portion of the tooth and tissues surrounding the teeth, an abscess can occur.
What happens during a root canal?
Root canal treatment begins with an X-ray of your mouth so that we can clearly see the root canals and how much the infection has spread. The area surrounding the affected tooth will be numbed to avoid any discomfort. A tiny hole is then drilled into the tooth so that the tooth pulp, bacteria, and decayed nerve tissue can be removed.
The Novato Family Dentist will take care to ensure that all infected tissue is removed from the area. Once the infection is cleared away, we will put a temporary filling in the tooth so that the infection can completely heal before the next step. You will then be fitted for a permanent crown so that the treated tooth is covered and protected from further damage.
If you’re suffering from an abscess or unexplained pain in your gum or tooth, contact our office as soon as possible. The odds of preserving the tooth are enhanced when treated quickly.