You might need a root canal treatment if you are experiencing a persistent toothache, have tooth pain when hot or cold food or drinks touch a tooth, or if your tooth hurts when you bite down or chew your food. Indeed, all of these signs can indicate that your tooth may be inflamed or infected.
An infected or abscessed tooth can occur when the inside of your tooth – the pulp which contains the roots and nerves– experiences severe decay. While most people think root canals are a painful procedure, they actually relieve the patient of pain. The procedure is very similar to receiving a dental filling and can be done in one or two visits.
A root canal may be performed by our dentist or endodontist who will remove the tooth pulp. Underneath your tooth enamel lies a layer of hard material called dentin. Beneath that lies your tooth pulp, which consists of nerves, connective tissue and blood vessels that nourish a growing tooth. When you are growing a tooth you need the pulp to supply blood and nourishment to the tooth to keep it healthy. However, once your permanent teeth have grown in, you no longer require the tooth pulp, because the surrounding tissues nourish the tooth. So when it becomes infected, it can be safely removed without harming your smile.
First, our dentist will remove the infected pulp. Next, we will clean and disinfect the area to prepare it for the placement of gutta-percha. This is a material which is similar to rubber consistency will seal and protect the hole left behind after the pulp is cleaned out. The last step in the process will be placing a dental filling material over the gutta-percha. If the area is too big, or if too much of the tooth required removal, a crown may be placed instead.
At our dental practice we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. James C. Ma if you are having any issues with your smile, or if you would like to schedule your next visit with our team. Please call 661-324-9709 today!