With an infected or badly damaged tooth, you might be advised to have a root canal procedure performed to save the tooth. A root canal is a process of cleaning the canals of a damaged tooth’s roots.
When a root canal is performed, the infected parts of the tooth pulp is removed. After that, the area will be cleaned and disinfected carefully, and then filled and sealed to restore the tooth and keep out decay-causing bacteria. We generally try to save a tooth whenever possible, rather than extracting it.
Why might your tooth need a root canal? Damage can occur from injury to the tooth, or if the tooth has a deep cavity, if the tooth has a crack in it, or has had repeated dental procedures over the years.
When a root canal is done, X-rays will be taken to determine where the roots are. For the procedure itself, you will be made comfortable so that the procedure is much like having a dental filling. A local anesthetic will be applied to numb the area, after which an opening will be made to expose the infected tooth pulp. Next, the decay will be taken out, the area cleaned and then disinfected, and then gutta-percha, a rubberlike material will be used to fill the area. To seal out bacteria, the root will be sealed with cement.
Following your root canal, take good care of your tooth (and remaining teeth) and the root canal should last a lifetime. Brush and floss daily, and see your dentist regularly for cleanings.
To find out if you might need a root canal done, we invite you to schedule an evaluation with our doctor, Dr. Chris Pallotto by calling 708.422.1900. Our Oak Dental Associates team in Oak Lawn, Illinois is ready to help you with all of your oral care needs!