Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.
Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.
Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections.
A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist).
While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva. An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria. If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.
At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.
After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.
You will be given care instructions after each appointment. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.
If you would like to schedule an appointment or have any other questions, contact us at our Silver Spring, MD, dental practice today!
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Dr. Park was absolutely great! He was walked me through the repair of a filling, expertly explaining why he chose to proceed a certain way rather than another in a manner that I could easily understand put me at ease. Dr. Park’s years of experience were readily on display and just as importantly he treated me like a human being and not a source of revenue.
Jefferson H. 1/2020
Dr. Park is great! I am not sure how he does this, but I have never had to wait to see him and it always feels like he really takes his time at each appointment. I’ve recommended Dr. Park to many friends and they all say the same. I would highly recommend Dr. Park to anyone.
Emily A. 12/2019
Super professional doctors and staff. Saw me on an emergency basis and found me a referral the very same afternoon for an emergency root canal. Within walking distance! Thank you!
Verified ZocDoc Patient, 10/2019