When is a root canal needed?

In cases where the pulp of the tooth gets infected or inflamed, a procedure called a root canal is required. Root canals can help relieve pain and save teeth. Millions of root canals are carried out annually in North America. Below the hard enamel and dentin layers of the tooth, there is a soft layer made up of blood vessels, connective tissue and nerves. The soft layer is called pulp. The pulp fills the entire area from just below the crown all the way down to the roots.

When the tooth is growing, the pulp serves the important function of supplying it with nutrients for its development. Once the tooth is fully grown, the pulp no longer serves a purpose. Tooth decay that has gone too deep, tooth injuries and repeated dental treatments can cause the pulp to get infected or inflamed. When this happens, it can be extremely painful. Pulp, in this condition, if left untreated, can further deteriorate and cause an abscess. Before the condition worsens, it is advisable to undergo a root canal procedure and clean out the damaged pulp.

What happens during

a root canal procedure?

Symptoms of a toothache, a sensitive tooth and swelling or tenderness in the area around the tooth are checked to see if a root canal is required. At Devon Neighbourhood Dental, we will give you a full oral examination to assess your condition before we decide on doing a root canal. X-rays will be taken to get a clearer idea of where the infection is. If you do need the procedure, we will explain it to you step by step and answer any questions you may have.

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We make sure to get your full medical history and make note of any pre-existing medical conditions and any drug allergies before we proceed with any treatment. The root canal procedure is performed under local anesthesia, so we will need to know if you are allergic to anesthesia before we get started.

During the procedure, you will be anesthetized or sedated, so you will not feel any pain. First, a small piece of rubber, also known as a dental dam, will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry while the procedure is going on. Next, a small opening will be made at the top of your tooth using a very fine drill. Through this opening, the dentist will clean out the pulp from the tooth using a special set of tools. The hollowed out portion of the tooth is then shaped to allow it to be filled with a replacement pulp. The dentist will wash out the inside of your tooth with water to clean out any pulp that is left behind.

The whole area is then disinfected to kill off the infection and stop it from spreading to other areas of the mouth. The cleaned, disinfected and dried tooth chamber is then filled with a rubber-like filling called gutta-percha which replaces the pulp. A temporary crown will be placed over the tooth to hold everything in place.

On the following visit a few weeks later, a permanent crown that is specially made to fit your tooth will replace the temporary crown. The permanent crown looks and feels exactly like a natural tooth and is fixed onto your tooth with dental cement.

We will give you a full set of aftercare instructions which you will need to follow carefully to avoid any problems with the new crown. Follow up visits will also be scheduled to check your progress and to make sure that there is no recurrence of the infection.

Are there any risks involved in a root canal procedure?

It is natural to feel some amount of pain and sensitivity for a few days after the procedure. We will prescribe painkillers for you to help relieve your discomfort and it will pass as the tooth heals. We have always had a very high success rate with our root canal procedures and if you follow the aftercare instructions, you should not have any problems. However, if you experience severe pain, swelling or any discharge from the area, please contact us immediately and we will be sure to treat you for it.

Devon Neighbourhood Dental

At Devon Neighbourhood Dental, Dr. Laheeb Quddusi has years of experience in doing root canal procedures and has a high success rate. He will take the time to explain all the steps and address any concerns you might have.

We have all the latest equipment and the most up-to-date technology at our newly renovated dental facility and can guarantee you care and services of the highest quality. Contact us for an appointment if you feel you require a root canal or for any other dental problems. We are always happy to serve.