Your natural teeth are meant to last a lifetime! If one of your teeth should become critically injured or diseased, it can oftentimes be saved through a specialized dental procedure known as endodontic treatment. To help you understand when and why such a procedure might be needed and how a damaged tooth can be saved, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about endodontic treatment.
What are the steps of a root canal?
1. An abscessed (infected) tooth caused by tooth decay.
2. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
3. The pulp is removed, and the root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped.
4. The root canals are filled.
5. A metal post may be placed in the root canal for structural support.
6. The crown of the tooth is restored.
What should I do to prevent infections & root canals?
In order to maintain healthy teeth and prevent future dental disease, you should:
- Brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste that bears the ADA Seal of Acceptance
- Clean between your tooth once dally using floss or other interdental cleaners
- Eat balanced meals and limit the number of between-meal snacks
- Visit your dentist regularly
- Use ADA-accepted oral hygiene products.
These measures will help you keep your natural teeth and enjoy good dental health for a lifetime.
Endodontic/Root Canal FAQs
What is Endodontics?
Endodontics is the area of dentistry concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the dental pulp (the tooth’s soft core) Years ago teeth with diseased or injured pulps were extracted. Today, endodontic treatment gives dentists a safe and effective means of saving teeth.Anyone needing dentures should give serious consideration to Implants for the freedom they provide. Dr. Dunn and the staff at Chemung Family Dental have been informative, supportive and caring throughout my many implant procedures. And though I now live over 25 miles away, I continue to get my dental care at their office because I greatly appreciate that Dr. Dunn takes time to answer all my questions, is always professional and stays abreast of leading edge dental technology.
What is dental pulp?
The pulp is a soft tissue that contains the nerves, arteries, veins and lymph vessels of a tooth. It lies within the dentin, the bone-like tissue that supports the enamel. Within the dentin, the pulp extends from the pulp chamber in the crown (the portion of the tooth visible above the gums) down to the tip of the root by way of the root canal. All teeth have only one pulp chamber, but teeth with more than one root will have more than one canal.
What happens to the damaged pulp?
Why does the pulp need to be removed?
What does endodontic treatment involve?
Treatment usually requires from one to three appointments. During these treatments, your dentist or a specialist called an endodontist removes the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are then cleaned, shaped and sealed to prevent recontamination of the root canal therapy usually is a relatively painless procedure.
What material will be used for the crown?
Why couldn't you just remove the tooth?
As a result, other teeth may be lost if the missing tooth is not replaced.A replacement tooth (an implant or a bridge) is usually more expensive than endodontic treatment and involves more extensive dental procedures on adjacent teeth. Endodontic treatment can safely and comfortably save a tooth that otherwise would have to be removed. In fact root canal therapy is successful approximately 95% of the time. Remember, a healthy restored tooth is always better than an artificial one.