Root Canal Therapy Procedure
For many people, the term root canal is scary. Plenty of folks believe that the treatment is extremely invasive and painful, but that is far from the truth. As we all know, most dental procedures are preventive, designed to treat issues and prevent them from becoming more severe down the road. Similarly, root canal therapy is known as one of the best and most effective dental treatments out there.
Root canal therapy is endodontic, meaning it treats the inside of the tooth. To get a good idea of what root canal therapy is, you’ll first have to get a better understanding of a tooth’s inner workings. With a good defense, however, you may never have to know what a root canal is. This includes practicing a consistent and thorough oral hygiene routine and visiting 4th Street Family Dentistry every six months to prevent any dental issues from progressing and becoming severe.
What is a Root Canal?
The teeth are made of three layers; enamel, the outermost protective layer, dentin, a hard layer below it, and soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp, which is located right in the middle of the tooth, contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. It extends from the crown of the tooth down to the tip of the roots inside the root canal.
It connects the nerves and blood vessels in the tooth to the ones in the jaw right below the tip of the tooth root. The pulp is crucial during the developmental stages as it aids in the tooth’s growth and development and supplies nutrients needed to sustain its growth. Once the tooth is fully mature, however, it can easily survive without the pulp. Root canal therapy essentially removes pulp that has been infected from the root canal. This saves the tooth and surrounding teeth from further degradation. But how does the pulp become infected?
It can happen in two ways, deep tooth decay or a fracture that creates an opening for bacteria to enter the pulp. All the best dentists in St. Petersburg, FL, recommend brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing for a good reason. If you don’t, bacteria in the mouth will feed on food debris and form plaque.
Plaque is acidic, and it strips the enamel of minerals, resulting in tiny holes or openings. The cavities will eat into the enamel and dentin if they aren’t treated. Over time, the bacteria enters the pulp causing an infection. If you have dental decay, contact a St. Pete dentist near you to prevent it from progressing to something more severe like dental decay.
Root Canal Treatment Procedure
Once bacteria have breached the pulp and it becomes inflamed, an emergency root canal therapy in St. Petersburg becomes a necessity. If you don’t seek treatment from a dentist in St. Pete soon enough, the infection can spread to the surrounding nerves, bones, and other teeth. Root canal therapy removes the infected pulp from the root canal and fills the space with a rubbery filling material.
The treatment usually consists of two steps, the root canal therapy itself and other dental procedures to restore the function of the tooth. First, your St. Petersburg, FL dentist, Dr. Leeson will take an x-ray of the tooth to see the shape of the root canals and to determine if the surrounding bone shows any sign of infection. A local anesthetic will be applied to numb the area around the tooth and to make you more relaxed and at ease during the procedure.
Your dentist will then place a rubber sheet around the tooth to keep the area free from saliva and to prevent the bacteria in your mouth from entering the tooth. Once this is done, the dentist will drill a small access hole into the tooth using a dental drill. The pulp, along with the decayed nerve tissue, is removed from the root canal. A series of root canal files of increasing diameter will be inserted into the access hole and used to scrape and scrub the sides of the root canals while water or sodium hypochlorite is used for flushing away the debris.
Some dentists in St. Petersburg prefer to wait a week before sealing the root canal, especially if the pulp was infected. In that case, they may put medication inside the root canal to clear up the infection before sealing it. In the meantime, a temporary filling is placed to keep out contaminants like saliva and food. Once the infection is cleared, the now hollow root canal is sealed with a soft, rubbery material.
Depending on your smile, you may have to undergo further dental treatments to restore 100% functionality. Our friend Dr. Ben Kacos, an endodontist in Shreveport, LA, says most dentists recommend a buildup to fill the hole in the middle where the access is made and a crown to protect the exterior of the tooth. You may experience some pain and discomfort for 3-4 days after the treatment, which is completely normal. If over the counter pain relievers do not work and you are in pain for five or more days after the root canal therapy, contact your emergency dentist in St. Pete immediately.
Root canal therapy is a treatment designed to save the tooth, the surrounding teeth, and bone and to restore functionality. If you are suffering from deep tooth decay or had an injury to the teeth and are looking for a dentist for treatment, we’ve got your back. Contact 4th Street Family Dentistry for a consultation today.