Step-by-step: The Root Canal Therapy Procedure
If you have a cavity or suffered a dental injury, you are at risk of developing a root canal infection. This is a condition in which bacteria and decay reach the root canals of the tooth, infecting the pulp that is housed within these chambers. At the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute, a reputable general dentistry practice, Dr. Craig Goldin and Dr. Marcy Goldin provide safe and effective treatment for patients suffering from root canal infections. To find out if you would benefit from the root canal therapy procedure, contact our Troy office to schedule an appointment.
Step 1: Administering the Anesthetic
To begin the root canal procedure, we will numb the tooth and surrounding tissues with a local anesthetic. This is the same type of anesthetic that is used when a small cavity is being filled. After we administer the local anesthetic, we will wait about 15 minutes while the numbing agent takes effect. Once you are comfortably numb, we can proceed with treatment.
Some patients are especially nervous about undergoing root canal therapy. In these cases, we may recommend a combination of sedation techniques to keep you calm during your appointment. In addition to a local anesthetic, we may prescribe a pill to be taken orally prior to your appointment. The medication will reduce your anxiety about the procedure. In addition, Dr. Craig Goldin is certified in IV sedation, which is also known as deep conscious sedation. This involves the injection of medication directly into the bloodstream.
Step 2: Cleaning the Root Canals
The next step in the treatment process is the removal of infected pulp material from the root canals. To access the canals, we will drill a small hole in the tooth. Then, the dentist will clean out the canals using a series of specialized dental files. The first file that is inserted has the smallest diameter, and is worked down the length of the canal to remove bacteria and debris. The canal is then flushed with water, and then a file with a slightly larger diameter is used to clean the canal. This process is repeated until all of the infected material is removed from the root canals.
Step 3: Filling the Root Canals
Once the canals are empty, they must be filled to prevent tooth breakage. A rubber compound called gutta percha is placed within the canals to seal them off and prevent infection. Next, a filling is used to restore the access hole.
Step 4: Placing a Dental Crown
To ensure that the tooth can withstand the daily pressures of biting and chewing, we typically recommend that a dental crown be placed. After the root canal infection has been addressed, we will reshape the tooth to create space for the crown. Then, we will take digital impressions of the tooth using our in-office CEREC® machine. The CEREC® machine will mill your custom crown out of a block of dental porcelain while you wait in our office. When the crown is fabricated, we will cement it in place.
To find out if you require root canal therapy, contact the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute today.