When a tooth becomes infected, it's absolutely necessary to remove the source of infection through root canal therapy. We understand that some patients have anxiety about root canal therapy, but we want to assure you that it will be comfortable for you. Treatment, in fact, is your most comfortable option, because an infected tooth will never heal. The unpleasant consequences of infection only get worse and more painful with time.
Because your comfort is important to us, we make sure that your mouth is thoroughly numb before we begin. Next, we place a rubber dam around the infected tooth to isolate it from the rest of your mouth. The rubber dam keeps the tooth dry and accessible, and prevents anything from falling to the back of your throat.
To get to the infected tooth pulp, we make an opening through the top of the tooth down into the pulp chamber. We use a tiny instrument called a dental file to carefully remove the infected tissue and shape the root canals to receive a filling material. At the end of the first appointment, we place medication in the root canals to kill the bacteria that caused the infection and place a temporary filling or crown to protect the tooth.
During the second appointment, we remove the temporary filling or crown and then clean out the remaining infected tissue. We may need to take X-rays to be sure that all of the infected pulp is removed. We then fill the root canals to complete the procedure.
When the procedure is complete, we'll schedule follow-up appointments to restore your tooth. Depending on your unique situation, we may use any number of techniques to restore the tooth, most of which involve the placing of a crown. When the time comes, we'll work together to decide which restorative procedure best suits your needs.