Today’s root canals are nothing like the experience of decades past. Ben Peterson, DDS, and the team at High Desert Dental in Ontario, Oregon, perform painless root canal treatments that can save an infected tooth. When you’re ready for more information, booking a visit is simple and easy online or over the phone.
A root canal is a treatment that repairs an infected tooth. The best way to understand the process is to visualize the structure of your teeth.
The outermost layer of each tooth is a thin shell of hard tissue called enamel. Just below lies a thicker layer of hard tissue called dentin. Beneath the dentin is a hollow chamber filled with a soft material called pulp.
Your dental pulp consists of a network of nerves, blood vessels, connective tissues, and other tissue types. Because pulp is filled with living tissues, infection can occur if bacteria reach the inner chamber.
Your body cannot easily clear infection within dental pulp. A root canal is the best way to effectively treat the problem by removing all traces of dental pulp.
Pain when chewing or biting down is the primary symptom of an infected tooth. Additional signs that suggest you may need a root canal include:
A simple diagnostic exam and imaging is all that’s needed to diagnose an infected tooth. Left untreated, the infection can spread to the underlying bone tissue, causing a much more serious problem.
When you arrive for your treatment, you’ll receive an injection of local anesthetic to keep you comfortable from start to finish. Once you’re numb, Dr. Peterson isolates the tooth to protect your tongue and other soft tissues.
He then creates a small opening in your tooth to gain access to the inner chamber. A series of slim dental tools called files are used to carefully remove all infected pulp from the chamber and the hollow canals of the tooth’s roots.
The cleared chamber is rinsed to remove any lingering pulp, then a material called gutta percha is placed inside to fill and seal the chamber. The access hole is closed with a small filling before a new set of impressions are made to guide the creation of your custom dental crown.
A temporary crown is placed to protect the tooth until the permanent version arrives. At that point, you’ll return and Dr. Peterson checks the crown for fit and appearance before cementing it into place, completing the restoration.
If you have additional questions about the root canal process, call High Desert Dental today to set up a visit. Online booking is another convenient way to get on the schedule, so don’t delay.