Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment

When a tooth develops decay, a cavity forms. It’s important to treat tooth cavities with dental fillings because if not, the decay can deepen and reach the tooth canal. At this point, simply a filling will not be sufficient to treat it; a root canal will become necessary to save the tooth and prevent the need for an extraction.

Procedure

Depending on the condition of the infected tooth, a root canal can be performed in one or two visits. A local anesthetic will be used to numb the infected area to minimize pain and discomfort. A protective sheet called a dental dam will be placed around the area to keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure. A hole with then be created in the tooth in order to access the canal. The damaged pulp will be cleared out and the canal thoroughly cleaned. After the newly-cleaned canal is shaped, it will be filled with a biocompatible material, usually gutta-percha. This restores the structure and functionality to the tooth. The opening will then be covered with a filling or a crown.

After-Care Following a Root Canal

It’s important to follow after-care instructions to ensure that the tooth properly heals. A follow-up appointment can help detect possible problems and treat them as necessary.

  • Take any prescribed antibiotics as directed in order to prevent further infection.
  • Clean the tooth and gums regularly in the area of the root canal using a fluoridated toothpaste and floss gently.
  • Avoid putting too much pressure on the side of the mouth where the root canal took place.
  • Avoid food that is hard, chewy, or crunchy for a period following treatment.
  • If you have persistent pain or discomfort, contact your dentist.

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