Depending on which tooth requires endodontic care, there are different ways to seal a tooth following root canal treatment.
In a front tooth, very often the opening made for the procedure can be sealed with a tooth colored filling. However, for molar teeth, more often than not root canal therapy will be concluded with a dental crown.
A root canal is a process when the canals of a tooth’s roots are cleared of all tissues including nerves, pulp, blood, and any infection present. Trauma to a tooth or even a small crack in the enamel can result in damage to the tooth’s nerve. If this happens, there are two options: root canal therapy or face the loss of the tooth.
Your family dentist may perform this procedure, or you may be referred to an endodontist, a dental professional that specializes in root canal therapy.
An x-ray of the tooth will be taken so the position and number of roots can be identified. It is crucial that all roots be treated because if one is missed the procedure can fail requiring re-treatment.
The procedure usually begins with the administration of a local anesthetic. Once the tooth has been numbed, a small access hole is drilled into the tooth. Once the root’s canals have been reached, an instrument known as a file is used with a handpiece that wraps the contents of the canals around the file to allow them to be extracted.
If infection is present, the tooth is flushed and packed with a material geared toward healing the inflammation. An antibacterial rinse may be prescribed as well as antibiotics. Your dentist will determine if the opening can be sealed right away or if it is wise to wait until any infection is completely gone.
When ready, the tooth can be prepped for a crown. An impression is taken and sent to a dental lab for fabrication. In about two weeks, the crown is ready to be seated. The crown has been made to match surrounding teeth in shape, size, and shading.
The root canal has allowed the tooth to be saved, and the crown will protect the treated tooth for many, many years. Brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist every six months for cleaning and exam will help to ensure that.
If you’re needing a checkup or cleaning, call our office today to set up an appointment with our team at Richardson Dentistry!