Root canals can be required for a variety of reasons. One primary cause for needing a root canal is excessive decay of a tooth that invades the nerve and blood supply. When this happens the tooth becomes non-vital (abscessed) often causing discomfort for the patient. Another frequent cause for the need of a root canal is a ‘deep filling’. Sometimes the decay goes very deep but does not infect the nerve of the tooth quite yet. In these cases when the decay is removed the nerve is irritated simply because we are working so close to it. Sometimes the nerve can recover but other times it becomes irreversibly irritated and the only way to eliminate the cause of discomfort is to remove the nerve of the tooth (a root canal).
Root canal treatment:
- The patient is well anaesthetized with local anesthetic
- The core of the tooth is accessed using a drill by creating a small hole in the top of the tooth
- The root(s) are measured giving us the information we need to complete the root canal appropriately
- The nerve(s) is/are removed from the tooth
- Using a sequence of files the inside of the tooth (former nerve space) is enlarged to a size appropriate to accept the filler material
- Between each file, the tooth is rinsed out using an irrigant that helps to sterilize the tooth.
- Once the inside of the tooth is adequately shaped and cleaned it is filled with gutta percha (filler material) that prevents reinfection of the tooth.
Despite common belief, most patients do not experience any discomfort during or after root canal procedures. In fact, in most cases the root canal relieves discomfort rather than causes it.
Contact New Westminster dentists Dr. Doug Lovely & Associates today for more information on our root canal treatments and procedure. Or call today to book an appointment.