A root canal refers to the removal and treatment of an infected, inflamed, or dead pulp of a tooth. The dental pulp consists of the nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissue at the center of a tooth. Neglecting dental care often leads to a damaged pulp that is cause for severe pain and a necessary root canal treatment, or medically called an endodontic treatment. Since Dr. Hannah Baek is a trained endodontist, she offers root canal services at Healthy Smile Dental, so you don’t need to seek a separate doctor to receive treatment.
Bacteria can cause an infection or abscess that damages the dental pulp. This creates swelling, bone loss around the tip of the root, or drainage problems that require endodontic treatment. Various factors can damage a tooth’s pulp:
Several noticeable signs may indicate a root canal treatment is needed:
In some cases, however, no symptoms are present.
Dr. Baek will first take an X-ray of the affected area to identify any signs of infection in the surrounding bone. She administers local anesthesia to numb the area near the tooth and make the procedure as painless as possible before starting the procedure.
The next step involves drilling an access hole into the affected tooth to remove bacteria and related debris. Dr. Baek then uses specific tools to clean out the root canal, and flush out any remaining debris.
Once Dr. Baek thoroughly cleans the tooth, the next step is to seal off the canal using a sealer paste and a rubber compound. She then places a filling over the exterior access hole. Dr. Baek may wait a week before sealing the tooth, depending on your particular case or her preference. If she doesn't finish the treatment on the same day, Dr. Baek will place a temporary filling in your tooth until the next appointment.
Sometimes the final step may require further restoration measures. To restore a weak tooth that’s experienced extensive decay, a crown or other restoration may be placed on the preserved tooth to protect it and restore full functionality.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!