Technically, the root canal is a physical place inside your tooth, where nerves, pulp, and blood vessels normally reside. When a tooth is severely damaged from decay or breakage, this canal may be exposed. Other less visible damage may also cause the pulp to become infected, causing pain and abscesses.
The root canal procedure removes the tissue inside the root canal, fills the empty space, and preserves the tooth. Though it no longer has pulp tissue, a fully-grown tooth relies less on the pulp than a developing tooth. After a root canal procedure at our office in San Antonio, TX, the tooth can still receive nutrients from the surrounding tissue.
Saving a permanent tooth through a root canal procedure offers advantages over extraction. The treated tooth remains viable and preserves normal bite function, efficient chewing, and the natural appearance of your mouth. Keeping your natural tooth in place spares your other teeth from the complications that may follow an extraction.
A root canal is typically a two-step treatment, requiring two visits to River City Dental Solutions. Once Dr. Shields or Dr. Perry determines a root canal is necessary, you undergo steps that aren’t much different from a typical cavity filling, though the root canal is more extensive.
Under anesthesia, an opening through the enamel and dentin of your tooth exposes the root canal. The pulp is extracted and the tooth is carefully cleaned. During your first visit, the root canal is filled and sealed temporarily. At your next appointment, the temporary filling is removed, the tooth is inspected and, if all is well, the root canal is sealed and the hole in the tooth is filled. The last step is the placement of a crown over the tooth to protect it.
If your damaged tooth had an infection or abscess prior to visiting the dentist, you’ve probably already experienced pain that’s more severe than any resulting from dental care during and after the root canal. Contemporary anesthesia and dental techniques minimize the discomfort you experience during the root canal. While your tooth may be sensitive for a few days after the procedure, this is normal, and it may be partially due to the infection or abscess, which should now be healing.
Dr Perry is a great dentist. Very kind and informative. I feel like he is personally invested in my health. He always takes the time to sit and discuss any issues I'm having - I never feel like they're rushing me out.