Many patients may feel nervous when they are told they need a root canal procedure and dental crown. However, root canal therapy in Peoria is a simple procedure that is very similar to a traditional dental filling. Let’s take a closer look at the process of treating an infected root canal.
Prepare the Tooth
Before a root canal procedure can begin, the affected tooth must be prepared. Local anesthesia will be administered so the patient will feel comfortable. The dentist or endodontist—a dental specialist trained in endodontic therapy—will protect the tooth from any wetness or bacteria by placing a dental dam around it. This dam is a thin piece of plastic that fits between the affected tooth and teeth nearby. The affected tooth will then be sanitized and dried.
Remove the Pulp
After the affected area has been prepared, the dentist will drill into the tooth, usually from the side, to reach the infected pulp and root canals. The dentist will then remove the tooth pulp, tooth nerves, and any signs of infection within the tooth. A tooth can survive without the pulp and nerves, if it is preserved correctly.
Clean the Canals
The root canals must be completely cleaned and sealed against future infections. The dentist will disinfect all the canals to be sure there is no remaining infection. Once he feels positive the inner tooth is safe, he will seal the canals with a material called gutta-percha. This is a rubbery substance that seals the canals from potential bacteria that might cause a future infection.
Place a Crown
Though a root canal procedure saves the tooth root, the tooth’s function can only be restored with a dental crown in place. This part of the treatment may take two visits. The dentist will place a temporary dental crown to protect the tooth until a custom crown can be made, usually within a week. During the second visit, the custom dental crown will be fitted and cemented in place.