Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment (also called a root canal) is done when decay will likely damage or has already killed a tooth. During a root canal, a dentist or Reference endodontist Opens New Window removes the Reference pulp Opens New Window from the center of a tooth and fills the pulp cavity. This can prevent the development of a painful infection in the pulp that may spread to other teeth. A root canal can also treat an infection that has developed into an Reference abscessed tooth Opens New Window. This procedure can relieve toothache, stop infection, and promote healing.
A general Reference dentist Opens New Window or one who specializes in diseases of tooth pulp (endodontist) can perform a root canal.
- First, the dentist will numb your gums with a substance that feels like jelly. After your gums are numb, the dentist will inject a Reference local anesthetic Opens New Window that will completely numb the teeth, gums, tongue, and skin in that area. Sometimes nitrous oxide gas will be used to reduce pain and help you relax.
- The dentist may separate the decayed tooth from the other teeth with a small sheet of rubber on a metal frame. This protective rubber sheet also helps stop liquid and tooth chips from entering your mouth and throat.
- The dentist will use a drill and other tools to remove the pulp from the tooth and will fill the inside part of the tooth below the gum line with medicines, temporary filling materials, and a final root canal filling.
- After the root canal, a permanent filling or Reference crown Opens New Window (cap) is often needed. If a crown is needed, the dentist removes the decay, and then makes an impression of the tooth. A technician uses the impression to make a crown that perfectly matches the drilled tooth.
- The tooth may be fitted with a temporary crown until the permanent crown is made and cemented into place.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: March 22, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Steven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry