Root Canal Therapy
What is a root canal?
A root canal is often used to save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted. A root canal is a restorative procedure, similar to a filling, where we remove physical trauma, or infection from the tooth.
Better to Keep Your Natural Teeth
Root canals offer patients who are at risk of losing their natural teeth a way to avoid having them extracted. Extracting teeth can sound like a good answer to a burdensome tooth, but it is often the start of many oral health woes. If extracted teeth are not replaced further tooth loss is often a reality that patients have to face in a matter of time.
The Layers of a Tooth
To understand how a root canal works, it’s important to understand the three layers that make up a tooth – enamel, dentin, and pulp/root. The outermost layer of a tooth is the enamel, which is made up of minerals and does not regenerate. Enamel is the hard, protective outer coating of teeth, which helps us to chew our food. Enamel is what gives our teeth their white color. Over time, enamel wears away and weakens if we don’t brush and floss regularly. Enamel can be strengthened by fluoride, which is found in most toothpaste.
Dentin is the layer below the enamel and helps to give teeth their strong structure. Dentin is yellow in color.
The inner-most layer of a tooth is the pulp and the root. This is made up of biological, fleshy material and the root of the tooth.
Once we are certain that you are comfortable, we will begin the root canal procedure with the help of a special dental drill that we use to remove infected or damaged portions of your tooth. Using this drill, we will make a path into the inner layer of your tooth so that we can access the pulp and the root, which we will remove. We will wash the inside of your tooth out with a special anti-bacterial solution to ensure that all infectious bacteria are removed. Once removed, we will replace the pulp and root with an inert substance called gutta-percha. We will finish the procedure by placing a filling into the tooth, or with a crown, depending on how much of the tooth is left in-tact.