When the soft tissues in the center of a tooth become inflamed or infected, a root canal may be the best way to treat it. Root canals are one of the most common procedures we do at Cascade Endodontics in Provo.
That soft tissue is the tooth’s pulp, and it consists of the nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissue. It can become infected with bacteria due to trauma, or due to a severe and untreated cavity. If the infection isn’t treated it could result in the loss of a tooth.
The thought of root canal treatment frightens a lot of people, because they associate it with extreme pain. They may have been painful, once upon a time. But with modern technology, root canals are not much different than having a cavity filled. They not only relieve pain, they can save the infected tooth.
Root canal treatment is essentially a four-step process, most often completed over two office visits.
- The treatment area is numbed with a local anesthesia, and prepared with a small sheet of rubber called a dam. This keeps the area clean and dry.
- The tooth is opened up with a small drill and the infected pulp is cleaned out. Its inner chamber is shaped with files, and sterilized with an antimicrobial solution.
- The empty tooth chamber is filled with a rubber-like material and sealed with a temporary filling.
- After a couple of weeks, treatment is completed with a permament restoration such as a crown.
Once healing is complete, it’s important to take good care of your teeth and gums. You should be brushing and flossing every day anyway, of course. A follow-up appointment may be recommended to make sure that all signs of infection are gone.
Jon Jenson DDS
1375 E 800 N Ste 203
Orem, UT 84097