Root Canal Therapy
Many patients forget that the tooth is a living part of the body. Beneath its hard exterior, your tooth is filled with soft, spongy tissue and nerves. The enamel and dentin usually do a pretty good job protecting the squishy insides, but sometimes, the enamel and dentin are pretty badly damaged.
The most common cause of this damage is tooth decay. Cavities that are not treated or filled can progress to advanced tooth decay. Even without tooth decay, some types of trauma to the tooth can cause damage to its insides.
Inside the tooth is that soft, spongy inside part that we call the pulp chamber. This chamber has some tissue and nerve inside of it. When it’s exposed to the air, it’s not uncommon to experience severe tooth pain. Because your mouth is filled with all sorts of (mostly beneficial) bacteria and germs, exposing this pulp to the air exposes it to infection.
When your pulp is inflamed or decayed, it allows the infection to spread into your gums. The decay might weaken the tooth enough to cause it to chip or break, or the inflammation in your gums could cause your tooth to loosen and fall out. In either event, it’s important that we act quickly to try to save the tooth.
During a root canal, your Coral Gables cosmetic dentist will first thoroughly numb the area with a local anesthetic. We can even perform the procedure under mild sedation if you’d rather not be awake for it. Once you’re numb, the dentist will use a very small, thin file to scrape the pulp out. All the infected material needs to be removed.
After everything is cleaned, the dentist will fill the “legs” (roots) of your tooth with a flexible adhesive. If the tooth is badly damaged, your Coral Gables cosmetic dentist may place a post inside of the root. Then the dentist will fill the “body” of the tooth with dental filling. Usually, our Coral Gables cosmetic dentists will cover your tooth with a temporary crown and then replace it with a more permanent crown soon.