What is a Root Canals
A root canal is a naturally occurring space within the root of a tooth that houses the pulp, or nerve tissue, of the tooth. It consists of three parts:
1. The pulp chamber,
2. The main canal(s),
3. Other intricate anatomical branches (accessory canals) connecting the root canals to each other or to the surface of the tooth.
The pulp is what provides nutrition and vitality to a tooth. When the pulp is subjected to extensive trauma or becomes infected, a root canal is required.
The intense symptoms associated with infected or damaged pulp tissue is the source of many dental emergencies. If a person does not seek immediate treatment, a serious infection can develop that in certain cases can be life threatening.
Root Canal Procedure
We at Somani Family Dentistry Simi Valley uses the most up to date and proven techniques in performing endodontic therapy (root canals).
At the first appointment x-rays of the tooth are taken, the patient is given local anesthesia, and the procedure is started.
– All decay in and around the tooth is removed, followed by creating an access point in the tooth through which the dentist can begin to clean out the infected nerve tissue.
Take heart, none of this will be painful since we ensure that you are completely numb before initiating treatment.
– During the process when all infected nerve tissue is being removed (with special endodontic files), the canals are irrigated with sodium hypochlorite which serves as an antibacterial agent and helps flush out debris and bacterial remnants.
– The dentist will then dry the canals and pulp chamber with special files followed by placement of calcium hydroxide (an antibacterial agent) and temporary cement to seal the tooth.
– The next appointment to finish the treatment is scheduled anywhere between 1-3 weeks following the first appointment, depending on the severity of the patient’s symptoms. Our office prefers to perform endodontic therapy over at least two appointments (rather than complete everything in one appointment) as we believe it allows us to gauge the patient’s response to initial treatment and ensure with certainty that all bacteria have been completely eliminated.
Endodontic therapy tends to have a higher chance of postoperative failure if completed in one appointment as all infected tissue may not have been removed.
– In the final appointment, an inert material (known as gutta percha) is filled within the now hollow root canals of the tooth. The tooth is then sealed either with Dental Filling material (such as amalgam or composite) or prepared for a crown, depending on how much tooth structure remains. For further information or questions about endodontic therapy, please feel free to visit us at our Dental Clinic.