A root canal is a procedure to try to save an existing severely decayed or infected tooth. If a tooth infection is not treated (by a root canal or an extraction), it will spread to surrounding tissues inside the jaw. The best overall treatment involves saving the tooth, so Dr. Kell may suggest receiving a root canal instead of outright tooth removal.
Root Canal Procedure:
After clinical and radiographic diagnosis, Dr. Kell will discuss the root canal procedure to you and your options.
The root canal procedure involves the removal of the nerve and pulp after you are numb. The nerve and pulp lie within the cavity (canal) of the root of the tooth (which is why it is called a root canal). After the nerve and pulp are removed, the inside of the tooth is cleaned. If the infection is gone, a sealer paste and a rubber compound (called gutta percha) are placed into the canal, and a tooth colored composite filling is applied to the hole used to access the root or the remainder of the tooth is then prepared for the permanent crown to be attached.
If the infection present is too involved, Dr. Kell may seal the root, or medication might be placed in the canal with a temporary or permanent filling or crown and have you come back for a 2-4 week follow-up appointment to allow the infection to fully heal before the final filling or crown is placed.