A root canal is a procedure designed to save a tooth when decay or infection damages it. Without treatment, the tooth’s enamel and surrounding gum tissue may suffer damage, as well. During a root canal, Dr. Hassan makes a tiny hole in the tooth to accesses the natural canals in the center of the tooth, then removes the nerves and pulp. She fills and seals the canal and closes the hole. Depending on the condition of the tooth, sometimes a crown is placed over it.
Root canals work to treat or prevent extreme infections known as abscesses. An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms in the tooth's root. Left unchecked, an abscess can spread further to infect the bone and soft tissue that support the tooth. Left untreated, an abscessed tooth can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream, causing a systemic infection.
The tissue that Dr. Hassan removes during a root canal is not essential to the health or function of the tooth. It is simply a sensory asset, meaning it is what allows you to feel hot or cold. It does not have an impact on the way a person eats or talks.
It starts with a clinical exam of the teeth and X-rays to see the structure of the problem tooth. Dr. Hassan looks for signs of infection outside the tooth, as well. She may decide to treat the infection prior to doing the procedure, if it has spread.
During the treatment, she numbs the area around the tooth to manage any potential pain. A rubber dam is put around the tooth to keep the area dry, as well. Dr. Hassan drills a tiny hole into the tooth to remove the nerves and pulp, plus any bacteria and debris. She cleans the inside of the tooth, then fills the canal and seals the hole in the enamel.
If there is an infection inside the tooth, she may opt to apply medication to clear it up prior to sealing.
Dr. Hassan takes an impression of the teeth near the treated tooth so a crown can be made for it. A temporary crown covers the tooth until the permanent crown is ready.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!