A root canal is an important restorative dental procedure which can save a natural tooth which has become infected or severely damaged. There are several common symptoms that signal the possible need for a root canal:
- Tooth pain
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tooth discoloration
- Gum soreness
Drs. John and Jeremi Arroyo will choose to save the tooth with root canal therapy whenever possible to avoid the more complex procedures of tooth extraction and replacement. Although many patients become anxious when this treatment option is recommended, it is often no more painful than a dental filling due to advances in technique and the use of a local anesthetic.
Root Canal: What to Expect
A root canal involves making a small hole in the back of the tooth to access the tooth pulp. The infected tissue and damaged nerve will be removed and the root canal will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The tooth will be temporarily sealed to keep out food and saliva until the next appointment.
Once the infection is clear and the root canal is free of debris, the dentist will fill the tooth with a biocompatible rubber compound called gutta percha. Finally, he will cover the tooth with either a dental filling or dental crown to add strength and protect it from future damage.