Non-Surgical Root Canal

Non-Surgical Root Canal Endodontic Treatment


Watch a video on the Root Canal process by the American Association of Endodontists.

When teeth cause pain that refuses to go away, the person suffering wants relief. If the pulp inside the tooth is infected, a root canal is the answer for treatment. Endodontists are dentists who specialize in treating the insides of teeth, such as Dr. Emine Loxley, DDS of Santa Rosa Endodontics. What makes her your best option for non-surgical root canals in Santa Rosa and surrounding areas?

Why Pick Dr. Emine Loxley, DDS?

Dr. Loxley graduated from the School of Dentistry at University of Alabama, Birmingham and served with the U.S. Army Dental Corps. During that time she received Endodontic specialty training and earned a specialty certificate in Endodontics from the Medical College of Georgia and the Army’s Tingay Dental Clinic in Fort Gordon, Georgia. In 2004, she opened an Endodontic practice in Bend, Oregon. She sold the practice in 2013 and moved to Sonoma County. Dr. Loxley is active in local programs like Meals on Wheels and a member of several professional associations including the American Dental Association.

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What's Involved in a Root Canal?

At the center of the inside of your tooth is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp is made up of blood vessels, connective tissue and nerves that help to build the surrounding tooth. A root canal is needed when the pulp becomes infected or inflamed. This can be caused by a number of things such as trauma to the tooth, a crack in the tooth, repeated dental procedures, or deep decay.

Once Dr. Loxley has diagnosed the need for a non-surgical root canal, she will make an opening in the crown of your tooth and use instruments to clean the pulp (nerves) from the root canals. Once the canals have been cleaned, they will be filled with a rubber-like material called “gutta-percha”. An adhesive cement is used with the gutta-percha to ensure the canals are properly sealed. A temporary filling is placed to close the opening. Dr. Loxley will complete the final restoration on this tooth which should be done within 4 weeks to ensure the tooth does not become re-contaminated.

The four most common reasons for an infected pulp requiring root canal therapy are:

  • an injured tooth (sometimes the chip or crack is not visible)
  • a broken tooth
  • a deep cavity
  • excessive dental treatment
  • failed root-canal needing a root canal re-treatment

Dr. Loxley will examine your teeth and review X-rays along with your recent dental history. Your teeth may also be cleaned before determining whether non-surgical or standard surgical root canal therapy is needed.

How similar is either type of root canal procedure to extreme fillings? Dr. Loxley or her staff may compare the non-surgical root canal process to getting a very deep filling. A filling involves the doctor or her assistant applying local anesthetic to reduce pain while she is working on your tooth. Once the tooth and surrounding area are sufficiently numb, the doctor drills into the affected tooth, cleans out the diseased area, and fills the hole to prevent additional infection.

Non-surgical root canal therapy, also called non-surgical Endodontic therapy, requires deeper drilling. The entrance through the tooth provides Dr. Loxley access to the root canal where the tooth’s pulp and nerves are located. After the inflamed and infected pulp is removed, the doctor disinfects and thoroughly cleans the inside of the tooth. Then it is filled and sealed with gutta-percha, a material closely resembling the texture of rubber. The tooth is protected by a filling or crown.

Both non-surgical and surgical root canal treatment are usually completed in two appointments. In the case of a severe infection or the reason for the pain is not visible in an X-ray, Dr. Loxley will recommend surgical root canal. The area is numbed and an incision made in the gum. The doctor will access the canal from the side to remove the infected tissue.

The soft pulp inside your root canal is made up of connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. It provides essential nutrients while the tooth and roots grow. After the tooth fully develops, the tissues around the tooth will help it survive by providing nourishment when the pulp is removed. Root canal treatments let you keep your real teeth and avoid the need for bridges or dental implants. Other benefits Dr. Loxley and her staff might mention for choosing a root canal over pulling a tooth include the ability to bite normally, chew without discomfort, and to protect your other teeth from being overworked or displaced. A root canal may also be necessary when a root induction could have prevented the issue in the past.

The process for either type of root canal has improved greatly over the years, with a success rate of over 85 percent. Untreated pulp infection and inflammation causes more pain and can result in an abscess. If you are in need of root canal therapy, why not schedule an appointment with Dr. Loxley at Santa Rosa Endodontics today? Give us a call at (707) 595-9797.