Root canal treatment is a procedure in which your dentist removes the nerve of a tooth that is infected or traumatized. Though this procedure may sound painful, modern technology, tools, materials, and methods help keep our patients comfortable during a root canal in Providence, RI.
To fully understand what root canal treatment is and why you might need it, you need to know a little bit about the anatomy of your teeth.
Each tooth has three layers:
If a tooth experiences trauma (you bite down on a fork or get hit in the face, for example) or has deep decay that reaches the pulp, you can end up with a toothache. The pain indicates that the nerve is irritated. Left untreated, an infection can result, and the nerve may die in some cases. When this happens, you will need root canal treatment.
When you get a cavity, your dentist can repair the tooth by removing any decay and placing a filling. However, if the decay reaches the pulp chamber, the only way to save the tooth is to remove the decayed and possibly infected nerve tissue.
If the nerve tissue is not removed, the tooth will continue to decay, and the infection can worsen. When this happens, you can be at risk of:
It is imperative to your overall health that the infection is treated as quickly as possible. In addition to removing the nerve with root canal treatment, you may need to take antibiotics.
Before a root canal, your dentist will make sure you are completely numb. If you request it, they can administer sedative medication as well.
Once you’re numb, your dentist will isolate the damaged tooth using a rubber dam. Then, using a laser or high-speed handpiece, they will open the tooth from the back (if they’re working on an anterior tooth) or the top (if they’re working on a posterior tooth).
After gaining access to the pulp chamber, your dentist will remove all the decay with their handpiece. Then, they’ll remove the pulp tissue using small instruments called files.
During this process, they’ll take x-rays to ensure they’ve thoroughly cleaned out the pulp chamber and the nerve canals in the roots of the teeth. Leaving any tissue inside the tooth can result in further pain and infection.
If your dentist determines that the tooth and roots are clean, they’ll disinfect the tooth, dry it, and fill the root canals and pulp chamber with a material called gutta-percha. They will then fill the rest of the tooth with composite filling material or other build-up material. Eventually, the tooth will be restored with a permanent dental crown.
We know that a tooth infection or deep dental decay can be painful. We want to help you get out of pain as quickly as possible. A root canal in Providence, RI, can help ease your pain and promote healing. After treatment, you might be a little sore, but you’ll quickly feel less discomfort as your body heals. If you have any questions or concerns about the root canal process, please don’t hesitate to ask us.
Do you have a toothache? Contact our team to schedule an evaluation.
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