Endodontic Exam

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Non-Surgical Root Canal

A non-surgical root canal is one of the most common dental procedures. Using all the latest technology, endodontists, specialists in the area of soft tissue inside the tooth, perform over 24 million root canals each year. Of those, approximately 95% are successful. Having a root canal will save your natural tooth, and you will not need a prosthetic, like a bridge or dental implant.

When the pulp inside the central part of the tooth becomes inflamed or infected, the endodontist will perform a root canal. Other common causes for the need of a root canal include severe sensitivity to hot and cold elements, tooth decay, a chipped or broken tooth, trauma to a tooth or swelling or tenderness near an infected tooth. The root canal involves extracting the decayed tooth pulp, reshaping the tooth's canal and filling the canal with strengthening filler. All of the work is done to the inside of the tooth and will not affect the crown, the part of the tooth that is visible.

A common misconception is that a root canal is an uncomfortable procedure. Actually, root canals are similar to having a cavity filled, producing minimal discomfort.

How the Root Canal is Performed

At our office, we place the patient under local anesthesia. A rubber sheet is placed over your mouth, isolating the tooth, which makes sure debris and instruments do not fall into your mouth during the procedure. The endodontist opens the tooth just a small bit to allow for removal of infected or dead dental pulp. The tooth's canal is then thoroughly cleaned, including any cracks. With special tools, the doctor reshapes the tooth canal, and the tooth is filled with cutting-edge biocompatible filling material. A temporary covering is used to cover the access opening, and we suggest that our patients see their regular dentist as soon as possible for a permanent restoration of the tooth.

This procedure can usually be performed in one visit. If you have a more complicated or more diseased case, you may have to return for a second visit.

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