Root Canal Procedure

Dr.Alan Wishneff Boca Raton Florida Dentist Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
September 15, 2016

What are Root Canals?

The actual root canals are tiny canals within the tooth. When these canals become infected, the pulp that is inside Blausen 0774 RootCanalthe tooth becomes infected as well. To remove this infection a dentist or an endodontist will perform a root canal procedure. During this procedure the canals are cleaned and then filled. Then the tooth will receive a filling or a crown.

What is a Dental Root Canal Procedure?

Depending on the number of teeth and the severity of the affected area, root canals normally require one to two visits, not including follow-up visits. When the procedure is starting the dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth or they might offer the option of having mild sedation. A rubber dental dam is then placed around the tooth and the tooth is drilled until it reaches the pulp area. The tooth can be drilled through the top or the back of the tooth.  Once some of the pulp is removed the actual root canal is measured. This is done so the dentist can clean the entire canal and so that enough filling material can be used to completely fill the canal. The measuring is usually done with an x-ray or other electronic imaging devices.

After drilling, the diseased pulp is completely removed from the tooth. The canal is then cleaned out thoroughly with an antiseptic solution. This solution will clean all of the canals with in the tooth. The canals are then filled with gutta percha, a flexible plastic material. A temporary filling is then placed on top of this filling. Next, a crown or permanent filling will be done once there are no further signs of infection in the tooth. Crowns are most common since the root canal procedure weakens the tooth. A crown is usually placed as soon as possible, within a month or less.

Once the root canal procedure is done, expect two to three days of soreness. It may last longer depending on the severity of the original infection.

Types of Root Canal Procedures

There are generally two types of root canal procedures. There is the first (and hopefully only) root canal on a tooth, and the second root canal on the same tooth. Both procedures are the same, other than the fact that if this is the second root canal done on the same tooth it requires more time and expense. This is because your dentist must remove all of the previous filling in the canal and pulp area in order to start again.

Pros and Cons

Advantage: Pain is always associated with root canals, but there should actually be little to no pain during the procedure. The procedure is not for cosmetics, but rather your health. The infect will only get worse with time if left untreated. The root canal procedure is successful over 92 percent of the time. The biggest advantage is that the tooth will not need to be extracted in the future.

Disadvantage: Not often, but sometimes infected tissue is pushed through the ends of the root, which will infect the gum. This is easily treated, but is also painful until the infection is cleared up. Canals are irregularly shaped, and if the canal is not accurately measured or branches of the canal were not discovered, it cannot be completely cleaned or filled requiring the procedure to be done again when this area becomes infected.

For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr.Wishneff at[email protected]  or call (561) 488-3111Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.

Image: By BruceBlaus. staff. “Blausen gallery 2014”. Wikiversity Journal of Medicine. DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 20018762. (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons