Endodontics and Root Canals
A root canal is necessary when the nerve or “pulp” at the center of a tooth becomes infected due to extensive decay or damage to the tooth. To restore comfort, functionality and prevent the infection from spreading, a root canal is performed to remove the infected “root” of the tooth.
Root canals have a negative reputation since historically they haven’t been the most comfortable procedures. You can rest assured that at Tafolla and Hammack Family Dentistry, your total comfort is our top priority. We are committed to providing you and your family with wholehearted care where we put you at ease by thoroughly communicating with you during procedures and using only the gentlest touch.
Here is a basic outline of our root canal procedure:
Once we’ve determined the extent of the root infection using x-rays, our doctors will begin by fully numbing the tooth and surrounding area. To keep the area dry from saliva during the procedure, we will place a piece of rubber around your tooth. Our doctors will then drill an access hole into your tooth and remove the pulp, nerve and infected tissue. We will use a tiny fiber-optic camera called an endoscope to scan the root canal and surrounding areas for any remaining infected tissue. Then, the root canal and access hole will be filed and cleaned to remove any bacteria and prepare it for a filling.
A sealer paste and a rubber compound are used to fill the root canal and a metal alloy or ceramic filling is placed to seal the access hole. In many cases, the tooth structure is weakened after the root canal due to the amount of infected tissue removed. It may be necessary to place a crown over the tooth to return it to normal strength and functionality.