WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE PROCEDURE?
During the root canal, the endodontist will make a small access hole in the top of the tooth. Very small instruments and a microscope are used to remove the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals. After cleaning the inside of the tooth, a rubber-like material called "gutta percha" is placed inside the tooth. A temporary or permanent filling is then placed to close the access hole. After the root canal, you must return to your dentist for a final restoration (either a crown or permanent filling).
IS THE PROCEDURE PAINFUL?
The procedure is not painful. It actually relieves pain. Your tooth may feel sensitive for a few days and can normally be relieved with over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen. This discomfort is usually very mild. The endodontist may prescribe antibiotics to help alleviate any potential infection.
In some rare cases, a tooth with previous endodontic treatment may need retreatment. This can stem from a variety of causes, such as a crack, missed canals, or from any remaining bacteria in the tooth. From your perspective, a retreatment is very similar to a first time root canal. Instead of removing the pulp, the endodontist would remove the previous root canal material and look for anything causing failure of the original treatment and place a new root filling material. Upon success of your treatment; the body will take six months to regenerate any lost bone.
Another type of procedure your general dentist may send you to our office for is an apicoectomy. An apicoectomy is sometimes necessary when an infection located at the tip of the tooth's root persists despite root canal treatment efforts.
What should I do if I need a root canal treatment?
Make an appointment to see us and we will examine you. We will determine if the tooth can be saved or not.