Dr. Hanan A. Elsaie DDS,
America’s Top Dentists, Consumers’ Research Council of America, Guide to America’s Top Dentists
Dominion 1 Dental - Arlington, TX. Tel: (817) 784-7888
Root Canal is the long passage full of soft tissue (refers to tissues that connect, support, or surround other structures and organs of the body) that is located underneath the tooth dentin which adjoin in the pulp chamber. There are one up to four canals found in the human tooth. Damaged or dead pulps can cause pain in our tooth because it increases the blood flow and cellular activity of our tooth. Infected pulp due to cavity or fractures may allow bacteria to seep into our tooth that causes the pulp to die. When this occurs our tooth must have its treatment before the infection spreads and pain gets worse. Our tooth doesn’t heal by itself that is why the dentist sometimes suggests undergoing tooth extraction. However, tooth extraction can cause a bad bite which is why tooth extraction is followed by a tooth implant or bridge. Although, a tooth implant or bridge is expensive the dentist may suggest you a cheaper treatment like root canal therapy (a dental procedure done to save damaged or dead pulp in the root canal of the tooth). Because keeping our original tooth is still the best choice of common patients.
Root canal therapy is a type of procedure that enables the patient to keep the original tooth by filling the canal with gutta percha (a rubber-like material), to prevent recontamination of the tooth. The tooth then will be permanently sealed with porcelain or gold, depending upon the patient choice. Root canal therapy usually takes one to three sessions.
The following are the step by step methods of root canal therapy:
- A local anesthetic will probably be given to you to numb the area.
- A rubber sheet is then placed around the tooth to isolate it.
- Next, a gap is drilled from the crown into the pulp chamber, which, along with any infected root canal, is cleaned of all diseased pulp and reshaped.
- Medication may be inserted into the area to fight bacteria. Depending on the condition of the tooth, the crown may then be sealed temporarily to guard against recontamination, or the tooth may be left open to drain, or the dentist may go right ahead and fill the canals.
After a successful root canal therapy, a follow up exam is strongly advised to monitor the tissue healing by the dentist. Root canal treatment is proven to be 95 percent effective. A failed treatment is very rare. However, there are few cases when the dentist has redone the treatment because of the diseased canal offshoots that went unnoticed or the fracturing of a canal filing instrument. A failed treatment is sometimes marked by a pain.