Your dentist has recommended Root Canal Therapy in order to preserve a tooth which otherwise would be extracted. I am sure the words “Root Canal” immediately conjure up anxiety. But don’t panic! Relax! Modern technology enables root canals to be performed, usually in one visit, with minimal or no discomfort.
Root Canal Therapy becomes necessary when the soft tissue center of the tooth (the pulp) is injured by decay or trauma. During Root Canal Therapy, only this diseased soft tissue pulp is removed, leaving the remainder of the tooth intact to be restored to function by your general dentist. From the standpoint of tooth conservation, Root Canal Therapy is much more advisable than extraction, followed by a bridge or implant, and in fact is usually significantly less expensive than either of these alternatives.
So what’s it all about?
Following local anesthetic, the tooth is isolated with a rubber dam. This is a six-inch square rubber barrier, which separates the tooth from the bacteria in the mouth. Next, a small access opening is made into the tooth. The diseased soft tissue is then removed and the canals are enlarged and sterilized. Finally, each canal is sealed with an inert rubber filling called gutta percha. This is followed by a temporary seal of the access opening. Once Root Canal Therapy is completed, your dentist will restore the tooth permanently with a filling or a crown.
Dr. Copeland offers a variety of endodontic services. Here is a brief list of the more common services we provide.
Click on any procedure to see a professional explanation with illustrations from the American Academy of Endodontists' web site.