Root Canal (Endodontics)
A root canal is a procedure used to repair or to save a tooth when the nerve has become infected or the pulp of the tooth is damaged or infected.
The pulp is an area under the tooth’s outer enamel. It is a soft area which contains nerves and blood vessels. Those nerves and blood vessels run from the tip of the tooth through to the pulp chamber. Their purpose is to help nourish the tooth before it emerges from the gums. Once we gain our permanent teeth the sole purpose of the nerve is sensatory to hot and cold. A tooth has at least one but no more than four canals.
If the pulp becomes infected due to a deep cavity or fracture that allows bacteria to seep in, or injury due to trauma, it can die. Damaged or dead pulp causes increased blood flow and cellular activity, and the pressure cannot be relieved from inside the tooth. Pain in the tooth is commonly felt when biting down or applying hot or cold foods and drinks.
Why is It Needed?
Root Canal treatment is required because the tooth is not able to heal by itself. If left untreated, the infection will spread, bone around the tooth will begin to degenerate, and the tooth may eventually fall out. The pain usually worsens until the patient forced to seek emergency dental attention. The infection is controlled with antibiotics before the procedure takes place to ensure the anesthetic works properly. The only alternative is an extraction of the tooth, which can cause surrounding teeth to shift, resulting in a bad bite. Though an extraction is cheaper, the space left behind will require an implant or a bridge to ensure the teeth do not shift, which can be more costly than root canal therapy. If you have the choice, it’s always recommended to keep your original teeth.
What Does It Consist Of?
In simple terms, a root canal treatment is a procedure that seeks to devitalize the tooth while keeping it in place. The dentist removes the infected area or dead pulp. Once this is done, the canal is cleaned and filled, and the tooth is completely restored so that it can look and function like a natural tooth.
How is It Carried Out?
Your Dentist will perform tests on the tooth and then recommend appropriate therapy. Your Dentist can perform the treatment or may refer you to an endodontist. Treatment usually involves one to three appointments. First appointment is the diagnoses of what needs to be done. At your second appointment, you will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, a gap is drilled from the crown into the pulp chamber, which is cleaned of all infected or dead pulp. Medication may be inserted into the area to fight bacteria if necessary. The dentist will then clean and fill the canal, and will permanently seal the area with a large filling. Finally, a porcelain crown is normally placed over the tooth to strengthen its structure and improve appearance. Please see the section on crown and bridges for more information on crowns.
Make an Appointment
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Mehrabani by calling (514) 696-5746 or by filling out the form below.
Our office hours, location and directions are available on our Contact Us page.
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Dr. Mehrabani is pleased to welcome new patients.
Schedule your first visit with us by calling (514) 696-5745 or by filling out the New Patient Form here.
The New Patient Form is required in order to complete our records and to enable us to give proper consideration to your treatment needs. The form is strictly confidential and can be completed online here. If you’d prefer to fill out the form in person, call us at (514) 696-5745.