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What's Involved in A Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatments are a common form of dental work, used in cases where a cavity has penetrated all the way to the pulp and nerve at the center of a tooth. Once this happens, the tooth commonly becomes infected and will keep getting infected due to the open gap exposing the pulp.

Root canals are quite simple and routine today, nowhere near as difficult as they used to be. If you need a root canal, here's how the treatment will go.

Step 1 - Anesthetic

Root canals are performed with the patient awake, but you'll still receive a local anesthetic for the tooth being worked on and surrounding gums.  This is a two-part process.  First, the dentist rubs a small amount of local numbing agent on the gum.  Once this is done, they inject a more powerful anesthetic into the gums to fully numb the area.

There might be a slight feeling of pinching or minor burning, but this will go away quickly.  Afterwards, you won't feel anything during the procedure except some pressure.

Step 2 - The root canal treatment

Once the tooth is numb, the root canal itself starts.  The dentist will drill a wider hole into your tooth so that they have easy access to the pulp within.  Then they use specialized tools called files to fully remove the pulp and nerve.

This allows you to keep the tooth while removing the material which could get infected.

Step 3: Filling the canal(s) of the tooth

At this time, they'll also fill in the hole created in the tooth with a mixture of sealing paste and a latex rubber called gutta-percha.

Then, they'll put a temporary cap on the tooth to protect it.

Step 4: The permanent cap 

You'll be sent home for a time determined by your dentist, in order for your mouth to heal from the root canal.  Once it's healed up, you'll return to your dentist for the final step: a permanent crown on the tooth.  This completes the procedure and restores your tooth to full working order.

If you have a deep cavity, putting off a root canal will only make things worse - and could lead to severe pain if it becomes infected.  Contact Boardwalk Dental to schedule an appointment!

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