Non-Surgical Endodontic Treatment
Root Canal Therapy
Because your tooth is a living part of your body, it contains nerves and requires blood circulation in order to remain healthy and strong.
Non-surgical endodontic treatment is commonly known as root canal therapy. It is performed to save a tooth when its pulp — the tissue within the root of the tooth containing the tooth's nerves and blood supply — is diseased or damaged. This is the result of having bacteria enter into the hollow, innermost part of the tooth (the root canal system), due to trauma to a tooth, or because of irreversible inflammation from deep decay. The entire procedure may require several office visits, but frequently can be done in one visit.
Step 1: After local anesthetic takes effect, a small protective sheet called a rubber dam is placed over the tooth to isolate it from contaminants and saliva. Then a small opening is made in the tooth's crown to access the root or roots that are receiving therapy. The canal, the internal part of the root, is cleaned, disinfected and shaped with small hand files and with state-of-the-art motorized instruments (we use a drill that makes no noise.). Medication is placed within the tooth and the opening is temporarily sealed. If necessary, an antibiotic may be prescribed to help combat infection.
Step 2: Once the tooth is determined to be free of infection, a biocompatible material is placed with an adhesive cement into the canal to fill and seal it. This material prevents bacteria from passing through the canal by filling it in a three-dimensional manner. A temporary filling is then placed to close the opening in the tooth.
Step 3: You will return to your general dentist who will complete the restoration of your tooth, usually by placing a crown; in many cases enabling a patient to maintain their own natural tooth for a lifetime!