Root Canal Therapy
Root Canal Therapy is the treatment of diseases or injuries to the dental pulp. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in root canal treatment.
What Does the Treatment Involve?
First, local anesthesia is given so that you will be comfortable. To isolate the tooth, the dentist will use a dam, which is a thin sheet of rubber or plastic that keeps the tooth dry during treatment. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
The pulp is then removed from both the pulp chamber and root canal(s). Each canal is then cleaned and shaped to allow it to be filled. Medication may be placed in the pulp chamber and root canal(s) to help eliminate bacteria. At this time the root canals are filled with gutta-percha, a rubber-like material made from various tropical trees.
A temporary filling or permanent restoration may be placed in the crown opening to prevent saliva from entering the chamber and root canals, or your dentist may immediately begin the next stage of filling the root canals.
Why Should the Pulp be Removed?
If the injured or diseased pulp is not removed, the tissues surrounding the root of the tooth can become infected, resulting in pain and swelling. Even if there is no pain, certain substances released by bacteria can damage the bone that anchors the tooth in the jaw. Without treatment, the tooth may have to be extracted. Removing a tooth can create further problems, such as drifting or shifting of the teeth from their normal positions.
Drs. Polking and Polking do perform root canals in the office, however, complex or difficult cases may require a referral to an Endodontic Specialist.