The root canals are technically narrow passages in each tooth that contain nerve tissue and dental pulp, or blood vessels that provide nourishment to the nerves. Root canals are protected by the hard white enamel of a tooth. The canals themselves are supposed to remain sterile. When bacteria infiltrates, usually through a crack, a cavity, or infection in the gum or bone, the tooth is in danger of dying. This infection can quickly cause swelling, gum soreness, bone loss, darkening of the tooth, and of course pain.
Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice must eliminate this infection by removing the top of the tooth to gain access to the infected root canal. This root canal is then hollowed out, eliminating both the infection and the infected nerve and pulp. Your dentist then fills this root canal void with a hard, rubber-like material that provides support and stability to the tooth. Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice then places a beautiful, natural-looking dental crown on top, and you’re done! This procedure, technically called endodontic treatment, is commonly referred to as a root canal.
Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice usually recommends a root canal procedure only after considering all other restorative dental treatment options, such as dental tooth-colored fillings or dental crowns. Root canals are performed at our Santa Rosa dental practice when the infection or decay is too extensive for a dental crown to restore and the only alternative is to extract the tooth.
Steps of a Root Canal
Santa Rosa Dental performs only state-of-the-art endodontic treatment for our root canal cases. After a thorough evaluation by Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice, and dental x-rays to fully assess the extent of the damage, we begin the root canal procedure.
The tooth and surrounding area are gently numbed with local anesthesia.
A rubber dam is placed over the tooth to isolate the treatment area.
A hole is drilled in the top of your tooth to access the root canal.
Using thin round files, Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice carefully removes the infected nerve and pulp from the nerve canal.
The root canal is sterilized with a bleach-like liquid, and then sealed to prevent future infection.
The empty root canal is filled with a hard, rubbery material called gutta percha.
Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice places a beautiful, life-like crown over the removed enamel, and your smile is restored.