Root Canal Therapy
When the threat of future tooth infection is considered likely or inevitable, usually due to decay or fractures, a pulpectomy, the removal of the pulp tissue, is performed. Typically most teeth requiring root canal therapy have some degree of inflammation and/or infection already present within or below the tooth. To save the tooth, the dentist drills into the pulp chamber from the top or back of the tooth and removes the infected pulp. The nerves are then removed out of the canal(s) with long needle-shaped drills. Once complete, the void root canals and the chamber are sealed with an inert material called gutta percha. The opening is closed with a permanent filling called a core buildup. This entire procedure is known as root canal therapy. Unless otherwise stated, it is best that a root canal treated tooth be fitted with a crown. Otherwise, the tooth will almost certainly fracture in the long run, since root canals remove tooth structure from the tooth and undermine the tooth’s structural integrity. Also, root canal teeth tend to be more brittle than teeth not treated with a root canal.
It is a common misconception that once a tooth has had a root canal, it cannot get decay. A tooth with a root canal treatment still has the ability to decay, and without proper home care and an adequate fluoride source the tooth structure can become severely decayed (often without the patient’s knowledge since the nerve has been removed, leaving the tooth without any pain perception). Therefore it is very important to have regular X-rays taken of the root canal to ensure that the tooth is not having any problems that the patient would not be aware of.
A properly restored tooth following root canal therapy yields long-term success rates near 97%.
All of your root canal needs can be performed by the experienced doctors at Bel Air Dental Care. Our provider’s utilize the latest technology in providing pain-free, root canal therapy. Digital x-rays, electric rotary files, and a microscope allow our doctors to complete the root canal in a fraction of the time. Whereas the majority of dental offices refer patients to a specialist for root canal therapy, most cases can be completed at our location in 1-2 visits.