Root Canal Therapy
A Successful Procedure to Restore a Severely Damaged Tooth
Deep cavities and injuries can damage your tooth to the point where root canal therapy is the only means of saving it. The good news is that after the root canal treatment, the tooth can be durable enough to last for the rest of your life.
Who Needs Root Canal Therapy?
If your tooth is severely damaged, it can become infected easily. Your teeth have pulp inside them, which contains blood vessels and nerves. Essentially, the pulp is the life of the tooth. The pulp can be disturbed if something hits and cracks your tooth. Or, it can happen if the tooth has decayed so much that you have a deep cavity in it. After this, the tooth is almost certainly going to become infected. Once infection sets into the pulp, it can spread to the surrounding tissue and bone. This is a very serious condition that our Toronto dentist can take care of with root canal therapy.
Preparing for Root Canal Therapy
Your dentist or a member of their staff gets you ready for the procedure. They put a “rubber dam” over your mouth. The dam isolates the tooth to be treatedand protects the rest of your teethat the same time. Your dentist may give you a local anesthetic before starting the procedure.
Removing the Pulp
Your dentist begins the procedure by cleaning out the pulp inside your tooth. They do this by using files of various shapes and sizesto fit inside the small structures of your tooth. Once the pulp is thoroughly cleaned out, the dentist is ready to fill the tooth. If you have more than one damaged tooth, each tooth is usually treated on a separate day.
Filling the Canal
Your dentist uses a special material called gutta-percha to fill the canal that now has been cleaned out and prepared for the filling. Next, your dentist places the outer filling. If they need to do more work on your teeth, the outer filling will be a temporary one so the dentist can easily remove it when you come back for later treatments. However, once the root canal therapy is completed, they will put in a permanent filling.
Often, a filling is not enough to provide the support your tooth needs to stay intact after the root canal procedure. In this case, your dentist may recommend a crown, also called a cap, to cover the tooth completely. This strengthens the tooth so much that it can last a lifetime. You can choose a tooth-colored crown if the tooth is visible when you smile or open your mouth. For a back tooth, you might want to choose a metal crown, which is a more economical option.
Your dentist uses a special material called gutta-percha to fill the canal that now has been cleaned out and prepared for the filling.