What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure designed to save a tooth that is severely infected or decayed. The name “root canal” comes from the process of cleaning the canals inside a tooth’s root. It is carried out by a dentist or endodontist, a specialist in dental pulp health.

The root canal procedure involves several steps:

Local Anesthesia: The dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding area. This is to ensure the patient feels no pain during the procedure.

Pulp Removal: Once the area is numbed, the dentist makes a small opening in the crown of the tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canals. The infected or inflamed pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth) is then carefully removed using special tools.

Cleaning and Shaping: After removing the pulp, the dentist cleans, enlarges, and shapes the canals to prepare them for the filling. This is done using fine dental instruments. The root canals are also disinfected.

Filling the Root Canals: The cleaned root canals are filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. After the filling, the opening in the tooth is sealed with a temporary filling to prevent contamination.

Restoration: During a subsequent dental visit, a crown or other restoration is placed on the tooth to protect it and restore it to full function.

Reasons a Root Canal May Be Necessary

A root canal may be necessary if the tooth’s pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels, becomes inflamed or infected. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Deep decay due to an untreated cavity
  • Multiple dental procedures on the same tooth
  • A chip or crack in the tooth
  • An injury to the tooth (even if there’s not a visible crack or chip)

Benefits of Having a Root Canal

The main benefit of a root canal is that it allows you to keep your natural tooth instead of having it extracted. Other benefits include:

  • Pain Relief: A root canal eliminates pain caused by pulp inflammation or infection.
  • Prevents Spread of Infection: By removing the infected pulp, a root canal helps prevent the spread of infection to surrounding tissue.
  • Restores Normal Biting Force and Sensation: A successful root canal and subsequent restoration with a crown allow the tooth to function like a normal tooth.
  • Natural Appearance: A crown or filling used to seal your tooth after a root canal can be matched to the color of your other teeth, maintaining a natural appearance.
  • Protects Other Teeth From Excessive Wear or Strain: By preserving the natural tooth, a root canal prevents other teeth from receiving excessive wear or strain.

Interested in Learning More about Root Canals?

Dr. Patel and his team at Colonialtown Dental have extensive experience and knowledge regarding root canal procedures. Colonialtown Dental has been serving Orlando and the surrounding areas for over 28 years. Book online or give us a call at 407-422-3811 today!