Root Canal Therapy

Stockton root canal therapy - two people who have recieved treatmentA root canal?! Wahh!! Yikes.  Just the sound of the term will conjure up anxiety for many dental patients, but just the opposite of what you would expect is true!  Many patients are surprised to find that root canals can be done comfortably and quickly.

The purpose of a root canal is to remove deep decay and infection within the tooth, and this will save your tooth from extraction.  Saving the tooth is almost always a better, more cost effective option than removing it.

The Root Canal Procedure

root canal therapy - the inside of a tooth where the root canals become infectedTo understand the root canal procedure, let’s take a look at the anatomy of a tooth.  The living part of any tooth is found in the hollow center called the pulp chamber.  The pulp itself is a collection of blood vessels and nerve tissue that nourishes your teeth and helps to build the surrounding tooth.

Sometimes the pulp becomes infected, and this is what we call an abscessed tooth.  Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma or injury to the tooth, deep decay, cracks, or repeated dental procedures on the same tooth.

The basic procedure of root canal therapy is to completely remove the pulp from the pulp chamber and the canals.  The root canals are then cleaned and shaped to be smooth.  The procedure is completed by filling the chamber and the root canals with gutta percha.  This process can be completed in about an hour.

Root Canals and Crowns

a crown that would be used after root canal therapyA tooth that has had a root canal will, in most cases, need a crown thereafter.  The crown helps to strengthen and preserve the weakened tooth.  Without the crown, the tooth could fracture and that would again necessitate an extraction.

Porcelain crowns are actually quite beautiful, and they improve the shape and color of the tooth significantly.  In fact, some people choose to get crowns for cosmetic purposes alone.

The root canal procedure - a step by step graphicTo the right is a graphic that explains the entire root canal procedure.  The first slide in this graphic shows the decay which has infected the pulp chamber.  The next three slides demonstrated the pulp chamber being cleaned and filled.  And the last slide shows the finished tooth with a dental crown.