A root canal is a tooth treatment that removes infected pulp and prevents the spread of infection. Pulp is the soft tissue inside your teeth that contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues. It’s important for your tooth to have this tissue because it provides a source of nourishment and helps the tooth develop and grow.
If the pulp gets infected or inflamed, it can cause pain and swelling in your tooth. You may also experience a bad taste or numbness in your mouth. The infection can also spread to your bones and muscles and even your heart.
Your dentist can diagnose a tooth that needs a root canal by listening to your symptoms and performing tests such as X-rays. Once they’ve diagnosed the problem, your dentist may refer you to an endodontist, a dental specialist focusing on the root of a tooth.
The best root canal specialists in Sarasota are able to perform this complex procedure in a safe and comfortable manner. The process is usually very similar to a routine filling, and it can be completed in just one or two appointments.
Removing a tooth’s pulp is the first step in a root canal. Once the tooth has been numbed, the dentist will access the center of your tooth using a tiny tool. The dentist then removes all of the infected pulp and disinfects the inner area. Next, a biocompatible material is placed inside the root canals to help seal them and prevent re-infection.
A temporary filling is often used to keep the tooth and surrounding area from being painful after the procedure. Then, the dentist places a crown or other type of restoration on the tooth to help protect it and restore its function.
Depending on the location and number of infected roots, your dentist may choose to use a more invasive procedure called an apicoectomy. This involves removing the tip or apex of the root, which is where nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth.
The dentist then uses gutta-percha, a rubbery biocompatible material, to fill the empty root canals and seal them. Sometimes, a small post is added to help hold the gutta-percha in place.
Your dentist then numbs the surrounding area with local anesthesia. The numbing will last about three hours.
After your tooth has been numb, the dentist will remove any infected tissue that’s still inside the root canal. In addition, a little bit of the tooth’s nerve may be left in the canal to ensure that it doesn’t become infected again in the future.
You’ll have to return to the office in a few weeks to get the permanent crown put on your tooth. It’s important that you maintain your regular dental checkups and cleanings so your teeth stay healthy and strong.
Most traditional insurance plans cover root canals at 80% and crowns at 50% of the billed cost, but check with your provider before your appointment to ensure that this is the case for you.