Understanding the Root Canal Process

Understanding the Root Canal Process

Over time, teeth can take a beating, causing a variety of oral health problems. When teeth become damaged, it's important to seek help from a dental professional. Otherwise, you could lose your natural teeth forever. Your dentist in Denver, CO, may recommend root canal therapy as a way to restore damaged teeth. In this article, Dr. O'Grady walks us through understanding the root canal process. 

For emergency dentistry, please contact OG Dental today!

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

It is a restorative dental treatment that can help save a tooth after it has been damaged, usually from tooth decay. The emphasis is on preserving the tooth's structure and allowing it to function properly. An endodontic procedure is another name for root canal therapy. It focuses on the treatment of the internal portions of a tooth in order to stabilize and safeguard its structure.

What is the Root Canal Process?

The steps involved in a root canal operation vary depending on the severity of your underlying dental ailment. Nonetheless, the following procedures apply to all techniques:

  • Sedation Dentistry - Many dentists in Denver agree that root canal therapy is an invasive treatment. Many patients are actually quite anxious about undergoing treatment, but Dr. O'Grady says you have nothing to worry about. Our OG Dental team is here to make sure you are feeling comfortable and pain-free. To help calm your nerves, we offer a variety of sleep dentistry options. We will also make sure the surgical area is fully numb before starting treatment. You won't feel a thing!
  • Drilling - Accessing the area we need to repair is the next step. Dr. O'Grady will drill into the opening of your tooth to gain access to the damaged part of the tooth. From here, we will have full access to thoroughly clean the area and get rid of any infection or decay.
  • Cleaning of the pulp chamber – the pulp chamber is the central section of a tooth that contains nerve endings, blood vessels, and other soft tissues. The pulp is responsible for keeping the tooth alive and functioning. When your tooth is damaged, this is most likely the portion of your tooth that is compromised. Dr. O'Grady will clean out the pulp content through the drilled hole, removing any evidence of germs, infection, and injured nerves and soft tissues.
  • Filling - A crucial part of root canal therapy is filling the hole of the tooth. This keeps the tooth's structure intact. Before completing the last step, your Denver Heights dentist may also fill the tooth with a substance called gutta-percha. Then your dentist will top it with a filling to prevent further bacteria from entering. Sometimes your dentist will recommend a dental crown to cover the filling so that the tooth is fully restored to its original strength. Dental crowns help protect your natural tooth from further damage.

How Long is A Root Canal?

For a single tooth, root canal treatment in your area should take between 30 and 60 minutes. The endodontist will devote as much time as is necessary to your oral surgery. A treatment can take up to three hours to complete. Any root canal therapy that takes more than an hour for a single tooth is reserved for complicated patients. The type of problem you are treating should, ideally, define how long your treatment will persist.

Knowing all of this, you must be prepared for the possibility that a root canal treatment will necessitate two dental appointments. It is important to understand that when a dental crown needs to be placed, you must wait for it to be prepared, which can take several weeks. In the meantime, you receive a temporary crown to protect your tooth until the next treatment. Our friend Dr. Dave Moghadam, a dentist in Easton, PA, who offers same-day dental crowns, highly recommends finding a dentist who makes their crowns in-house. This will save you the hassle of coming back to the office for a second visit.

Do I Need a Root Canal?

Once you notice an infection, contact OG Dental immediately. The longer you wait for professional treatment, the worse the situation will get. Soon, you will be concerned not just about a toothache but also about a broken tooth root and an abscessed tooth that requires medical attention. Contact our dental office in Denver, CO, today!