A root canal is an endodontic treatment for an infected tooth. To understand the process, it helps to think about the structure of your teeth.
The outermost layer of a tooth is a thin shell of hard tissue called enamel. Just beneath the enamel lies a thicker layer of hard tissue called dentin.
Beneath the dentin is a hollow chamber filled with a soft tissue called pulp. Your dental pulp contains nerves, connective tissues, and blood vessels. When the pulp becomes infected by trauma or advanced decay, your body is unable to clear the infection on its own.
A root canal works by removing infected pulp and providing structural support to the treated tooth.
The primary sign of an infected tooth is severe pain, especially when biting down. Additional symptoms include:
If you experience these changes, schedule a diagnostic exam right away.
Your practitioner begins by gathering imaging and impressions to learn more about the structure of your teeth and bone tissue. If a root canal is the right course of action, you’ll receive medication to eliminate sensation in the treatment area.
Once you’re numb, your practitioner creates a small opening in the tooth to gain access to the inner chamber. A series of slim dental instruments called files remove all traces of infected pulp and prepare the walls of the inner chamber.
After the chamber is rinsed, a material called gutta percha is cemented into place to fill the hollow area, including the canals of the tooth roots. A filling closes the access hole, and a new set of impressions are made to guide the fabrication of your custom crown.
Hamada Family Dentistry offers in-house crown fabrication using CERECⓇ technology. Once your crown is ready, it’s placed over the treated tooth to provide protection, which completes the root canal process.
Learn more about root canals during a personalized consultation, which you can book online or over the phone today. If you require more advanced endodontic treatment, your practitioner can help you find the right specialist to meet those needs.