A root canal is a procedure used when severe tooth decay exposes and infects the root or pulp-filled cavity of the tooth. The aim of the operation is to remove dead or dying nerves and bacteria from within the tooth.
The purpose of a root canal is to remove the infection and to save the original tooth for continued use. The interior “pulp” of the tooth can become infected by cavities or cracks in the tooth. There is usually constant pain and swelling associated with a tooth that may require the root canal to be cleaned out. If nothing is done to address the infection then the tooth will decay beyond a point of saving and will have to be removed.
An anesthetic will first be applied to the area surrounding the affected tooth to numb the pain.
A small drill is then used to open the tooth and gain access to the core pulp of the tooth. This pulp is made up of nerves, tissues, and blood vessels allowing blood to flow to the tooth while simultaneously allowing it feel pain. The pulp is then carefully removed with special tools.
The tooth is cleaned and treated to eliminate the possibility of infection.
The tooth is then filled and covered with a temporary crown while a permanent crown is being made.
It is important that root canals be performed by experienced professionals to reduce the chances of complications. But even with proper training, there are still some risks.
Those risks are:
Patients must consider that the alternative to not having a root canal procedure is continued pain, the inevitable loss of the affected tooth anyway, and the chance the infection could affect other teeth. It is much safer and cheaper to try and save the tooth if at all possible.
After the procedure is complete you will feel some lingering pain or fatigue from the operation. This is normal. A scheduled check-up will allow our dentists to take X-rays and inspect the affected tooth. If the tooth is deemed free of infection then the next step is to prepare the tooth for the crown which will protect it.
At Sunrise Dental of Bellevue, we are dedicated to our patients' dental health. We accept a variety of insurance providers to make sure that all of our patients are covered. If your insurance is not listed or if you have any questions, please call our office to see how we can partner with you.
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