Fern Creek Dentistry

Root Canals

Root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it and then filling and sealing it. Root canal is also a colloquial term for a dental operation, endodontic therapy, wherein the pulp is cleaned out, the space disinfected and then filled.

In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you’d probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called root canal treatment, your tooth can be saved. When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but is detrimental to your overall health.

01

A Deep Infection

Root canal treatment is needed when an injury or a large cavity damages the tooth’s root. The root becomes infected or inflamed.

02

A Route to the Root

The dentist numbs the tooth. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth to the pulp chamber.

03

Removing Infected Tissue

Special files are used to clean the infection and unhealthy pulp out of the canals. Then they shape the canals for the filling material.

04

Filling the Canals

The canals are filled with a permanent material. Typically this is done with a material known as gutta-percha.

05

Rebuilding the Tooth

Temporary filling material is placed on top of the gutta-percha to seal the opening. The filling remains until the tooth gets a permanent filling.

06

Extra Support

In some cases, a post is placed into the root next to the gutta-percha. This gives the crown more support.

What to Expect

For the SRP treatment, our dentists will put local anesthesia on the areas being treated. Sedation can be added to help the patient remain comfortable and calm during the treatment. To reach all areas of the gum pockets and remove the tartar and plaque that has built up, our dentists will use a hand scaling instrument or an ultrasonic cleaner. After the gum pocket is cleaned, our dentists will minimize the places where tartar and plaque can become stuck by smoothing (planing) the enamel of the tooth. Following the treatment, the gum tissue can start to repair and reattach properly to the tooth root. Some patients may need more than one procedure to achieve their ideal results.

Treatment Aftercare

After the SRP procedure is done, patients might have some inflammation or bleeding of the gums for a few days. To keep the gums and teeth clean after the SRP treatment, patients should talk about correct techniques for brushing and flossing so they can establish a good home care practice. Patients should also be certain to make an appointment for dental exams at least once a year at Fern Creek Dentistry or as recommended by our dentists. Our dentists will usually schedule a follow up appointment 2 – 4 months after the treatment to check the patient’s progress.

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