If your tooth has suffered decay or injury to the point that it has affected the pulp, a root canal procedure will be the only way for you to save it. Alternately, you can have the tooth extracted and replaced with an implant, but it is always best to try and save your natural tooth.
If you are getting a root canal, the first step will be to have an X-ray done on the affected tooth to assess the extent of the damage. The dentist will then administer a local anesthetic and isolate the tooth from moisture using a dental dam. The decay will then be removed and an access hole will be drilled through the crown of the tooth. Using special instruments, the dentist will then remove the damaged pulp. The root canals will then be flushed and cleaned. If an infection is present, antibiotics will be administered at this point. The tooth will then be filled with a rubbery substance called gutta percha and topped with a dental filling. A dental crown will ultimately be used to restore the weakened tooth, with a metal post being used to support the crown if the tooth has been particularly weakened. This whole process can take anywhere from one to three visits to the dentist, depending on the specifics of your case.
If you are having tooth pain and believe you may need to have a root canal done, contact our dentist in Northridge to schedule an appointment.