The root canals are narrow channels found in the very central portion of each tooth that contain the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues that support the health of the tooth. Sometimes, the pulp inside the canals becomes infected or, less often, damaged by trauma, and the health and structure of the tooth are compromised. A root canal procedure uses special techniques to remove this damaged pulp while preserving the surrounding tooth material, avoiding the need to have the tooth extracted and preventing the spread of infection.
Root canal procedures (sometimes called root canal therapy or RCT) are similar to “regular” tooth filling procedures used to remove more superficial areas of decay and damage, but they use special instruments and techniques to carefully access and remove the central pulp portion of the tooth. Once the damaged pulp is removed, the cavity is carefully cleaned and then sealed to prevent further infection, then a special filling is applied. A crown will also be placed over the tooth to provide additional protection and to hide the discoloration or “graying” that often occurs following a root canal procedure. The crown will be applied during a second office visit.
No. Today’s root canal procedures use advanced pain management techniques to reduce or eliminate discomfort during the procedure, and afterward, discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter pain medicines.
In nearly all cases, it’s better to save a damaged natural tooth than to have it extracted. The way your teeth meet and function has a direct influence on your bite mechanics and your bite balance. When a tooth is pulled (or falls out), the bite balance and mechanics are altered, increasing the likelihood of chronic headaches and jaw pain, uneven tooth wear, decay, and even additional tooth loss. Preserving the tooth helps prevent these problems. Plus, root canals tend to be less costly than extractions followed by a denture, bridge or implant.
At Sunrise Dental of Bothell/Mill Creek, we are dedicated to our patients' dental health. We accept most PPO insurances to make sure that all of our patients are covered. If your insurance is not listed or if you have any questions, please call our office to see how we can partner with you.
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