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What is a Root Canal?

June 28, 2010 in Dentistry,Root Canals by McCarl Dental Group

Root canal treatment is the removal of the tooth’s pulp, a small, thread-like tissue in the center or canal of the tooth that contains a tiny nerve, artery, and vein. The pulp is the part of the tooth that gets infected from decay or trauma and transmits pain messages to the brain. Once the damaged, infected or decayed pulp is removed, the remaining space is cleaned, shaped and filled which seals the canal.

With the experienced dentists at McCarl Dental Group, a root canal is a simple and routine procedure that will have you feeling great again quickly. During the root canal, your dentist will remove the pulp from the center of the tooth and fill the pulp cavity. This dental procedure promotes healing and can relieve a toothache and prevent the development of a painful infection that may spread to other teeth. A root canal can also treat an infection that has progressed into an abscessed tooth.

It is important to make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible if you are experiencing dental pain. Bacteria from an infected tooth can enter the bloodstream and cause infections in other parts of the body. Dental patients who are at higher risk of complications from infection or are immunosuppressed may need to take antibiotics before and after a root canal.

The Root Canal Procedure
• First, your dentist will numb your gums with a gel and then your dentist will inject a local anesthetic that will completely numb the teeth, gums, tongue, and skin near the infected tooth.
• The dentist may use a dental damn to separate the decayed tooth from the other teeth. A dental damn is a small sheet of rubber on a metal frame that helps stop liquid and tooth chips from entering your mouth and throat.
• The dentist will use small instruments and a drill to remove the pulp from the tooth. Your dentist may also fill the interior of the tooth below the gum line with medicines, temporary filling materials, and a root canal filling.
• When the root canal is complete, a permanent filling and often a dental crown is needed to strengthen the weakened tooth. When making a crown, the dentist shapes the tooth and then scans the tooth to create a digital impression that is sent to the dental lab fabricating the tooth. With digital impressions, each porcelain crown is a perfect fit! The tooth may be fitted with a temporary crown until the permanent crown is fabricated and cemented into place.

What to Expect After Your Root Canal
After a root canal, your lips and gums may remain numb for a few hours until the anesthetic wears off. An antibiotic will be prescribed if your tooth was infected. If there is any discomfort, pain medicines, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or a stronger prescription painkiller will be prescribed by your dentist.

Root Canal Illustration

Root Canal Illustration

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8601 Veterans Hwy, Suite 101, Millersville, MD 21108 USA
Dr. Clayton McCarl, Jr. Millersville, MD cosmetic, restorative, & preventive dentistry.
28 Ridge Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770 USA
Dr. Clayton McCarl, Jr. Greenbelt, MD cosmetic, restorative, & preventive dentistry. (301) 474-4144