Non-Surgical Root CanalSanta Rosa, CA
Everyone can relate to the apprehension upon hearing the words that he or she will need a root canal. With just two words, many people envision a painful surgery with a long recovery period. The reality is that root canals and will not typically require surgery. Other times, people will mistake a root canal for a tooth extraction and fear to lose a tooth. A root canal actually fights to save as much of the natural tooth as possible to prevent needing to remove it.
Cleaning Beneath the Surface
While brushing twice a day and flossing once a day is beneficial to clean the surface, enamel, of the teeth, it cannot help the inside of the teeth. The enamel of teeth is actually one of the strongest substances in the body that faces constant contact with bacteria and acids from food and beverages.
Due to this, the enamel will begin to wear down and eventually weaken enough that plaque can reach the inside of the teeth. Underneath the enamel of the teeth is the dentin and beneath that is the dental pulp. The dental pulp contains nerves and can cause immense pain when infected. Since patients cannot clean the dental pulp, an endodontist is the professional to call.
As an endodontist, we can drill to the inside of the tooth, remove the infected areas and seal the tooth back up. With non-surgical root canals, the procedure will not be as extensive as surgical options. In fact, the patient will be able to continue with his or her regular routine the same day, if necessary.
The Process for a Non-Surgical Root Canal
The process for a non-surgical root canal is not as complex as a surgical root canal but will require the skills or an endodontist. We can ensure patients receive the right kind of care. Seeking a general dentist is great for cleaning teeth and other oral health issues, but not as ideal for providing a professional root canal. The process for a root canal can vary per patient.
Determining the Severity
The first step of the process is to determine the severity of the infection. If the infection is not too deep, then a non-surgical treatment will be the way to go. In many cases, a non-surgical root canal will be a little deeper than a filling. We will use an X-ray to determine the shape of the root canal and find any other signs of infection in the surrounding area.
Preparing for the Procedure
While the patient will not need to be asleep during the root canal, we will need to numb the area of the mouth. This will also help the patient to relax and remain calm during the treatment. We will also place a rubber dam around the specific area to keep the tooth dry. If the patient needs to consider sedation due to anxiety or other complications, we can go over the options during the initial consultation.
Cleaning Out the Tooth
We will then drill a hole into the top of the tooth as deep as we need to go. We will then remove any bacteria, infected tissue and the dental pulp. We will clean out the tooth with specialized root canal files that can help to effectively scrape the inside of the tooth. We can use water to help wash away any debris. We will slowly increase the size of the file to adequately clean out the tooth.
Sealing the Tooth
The final phase will involve sealing the tooth. In some cases, we may seal the tooth on another day and place a temporary filling. This is to ensure there is no lingering infection that the sealing may trap in the tooth. Whether we complete the root canal on the same day or wait until a week after will depend entirely on the patient’s oral health and needs. We will usually fill the tooth with a sealer paste and compound known as gutta percha will go into the tooth’s root canal.
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After placing a filling on top, the root canal will be complete. In many cases, the initial procedure will only take several hours tops. We will also go over any tips for preventing any future damage to the tooth. Patients will be able to continue using the tooth without fear of pain since we will remove the nerves in it.
To learn more about non-surgical root canals or to schedule an appointment, give us a call today. We can help treat your teeth and help you protect your oral health from further infection.
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