Root Canal Therapy
When Do You Need Root Canal Therapy?
Each tooth contains a pulpy substance in the center canals that are protected by the enamel and dentin. The pulp inside these canals becomes infected with bacteria because of severe tooth decay or injury. We typically recommend a root canal when there is an infection that has reached the pulp. The bacteria and other decayed material can also cause an abscessed tooth. An abscess occurs when the infection reaches the ends of the roots. This can be a very painful condition. Without a root canal, the infection may become severe enough to require a tooth extraction.
An infection in the root canal can also cause:
Root Canal Process
During your initial appointment, J. Andrew Bagley DDS or W. Ryan Bagley DDS will determine whether or not root canal therapy is necessary. We will take an x-ray to determine the shape of your roots, and diagnose any signs of infection in the underlying bone.
Once we have determined that you need a root canal, we will use a local anesthetic to numb the tooth. You may feel some slight pressure when we use the needle. After the tooth is numb, we will place a small rubber sheet, known as a dental dam, to keep the tooth dry and clean during the procedure.
Next, we will use a small drill to create an opening in the top portion of the tooth and expose the pulp. We will then use a small file to remove damaged and diseased pulp from within the canals. After the bulk of material has been removed, we will flush out the canals and wash away any remaining pulp. We may also use an antimicrobial solution to kill any remaining bacteria. Once the canals are properly cleaned and dried, we will fill them. J. Andrew Bagley DDS or W. Ryan Bagley DDS will use a rubber-like material, known as gutta-percha. Gutta-percha prevents future infection and preserves the structure of the tooth. However, most teeth become brittle after a root canal and require the use of a dental crown.
Once the root canal is complete, we will take an impression of the tooth and send it to our dental laboratory. There, they will fabricate your permanent restoration. Once the restoration is complete, we will place the crown at the following appointment.
After the Procedure
To avoid future infections, be sure to practice good oral hygiene after you receive a root canal. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once is crucial to your oral health. We also recommend twice-yearly checkups and professional cleanings.
Schedule an Appointment
To schedule your appointment, call (509) 547-1631.