As dentists, our goal is to do everything we can to preserve your teeth, which makes a root canal procedure one of our go-to tools. When you have an infection in your tooth, more specifically in your root canals, it threatens the entire tooth. By taking swift action through a root canal procedure, we can clear the infection, relieve your pain, and preserve your tooth.
At Hillsdale Dental Care, our dental experts, Drs. Roge Jacob and Magdalena Azzarelli, routinely perform root canal procedures at our practice. If you’ve never undergone this tooth-preserving treatment, here’s a step-by-step look at what you can expect.
Before we start your root canal procedure, we take X-rays of your tooth to determine the extent of the infection. These images help us direct our efforts during your root canal procedure.
In each of your root canals is a material called pulp which houses blood vessels and nerves (hence the pain!). Unfortunately, if bacteria get into your pulp, it can create a hard-to reach infection that threatens the entire structure.
Before we get started on removing the infection, we use a local anesthetic to ensure that you don’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. Once you’re ready, we make a small hole in the crown of your tooth (if you have a filling, we remove it first). Using very small instruments, we clear out the infected pulp and then thoroughly disinfect your root canal.
With your root canal cleared, we then seal the area with gutta percha, which is a biocompatible, rubber-like material.
After ensuring that your root canal is safe from future infections, we place a filling into the hole we created to access your root canal.
From start to finish, we typically perform this procedure in about 90 minutes.
To further protect your tooth after your root canal procedure, we typically place a dental crown over the entire tooth to restore its strength and appearance. During your initial visit, we take an impression of your tooth so that when you return, your crown is ready.
Once we place the crown over your tooth, we make any necessary adjustments to the restoration so that you can smile, chew, and talk with ease.
To address the title of this blog post about what to expect after a root canal procedure, we can confidently say that you should expect to have a fully functioning tooth that’s no longer a source of pain.
If you have more questions about what happens during a root canal procedure, we invite you to contact our office in San Jose, California.