Root Canal in Tampa

What is a root canal? How long does it take? What are the steps of the procedure?

These common questions and more about root canals are answered in this article.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is when the nerve is removed from the tooth (source). This is necessary when the nerve, or pulp tissue, becomes inflamed or infected.

The tooth looks like a simple solid structure, when in fact it is a complex system of tissue that all have a special task. 

To simplify, the tooth is made up of 3 parts:

  • Crown

    The part you see and used to chew (Click the icon to learn more about dental crowns)

  • Root

    The part below the gums in the bone and anchors the tooth in the bone socket

  • Pulp Tissue

    Located below the inside the hollow structure of the bone socket. This pulp tissue is soft and consists of connecting tissues, blood vessels and nerves. The pulps job is to nourish the tooth to keep it alive.

Root Canal Treatment

If the tooth can be saved then it is recommended to perform a root canal rather than tooth extraction. That way your original tooth is saved and restored.

  • Step 1

    The area around the tooth that will be treated is numbed using local anesthesia. The root canal process will not begin until the numbing has taken effect.

  • Step 2

    Thin sheet or vinyl or rubber called a dental dam is placed around the affected tooth and the teeth around it. This allows the tooth getting the root canal treatment to be isolated. Therefore, the process is sterile and the bacteria in saliva won’t contaminate anywhere else in the mouth.

  • Step 3

    A small hole is drilled into the top surface of the affected tooth. This gives access to the pulp chamber and root canal for treatment.

  • Step 4

    The affected, or diseased pulp is removed. After the pulp tissue is removed the tooth can’t feel pain anymore. The pulp tissue, which contains the blood vessels and nerves, are gone.

  • Step 5

    Once removed the area is thoroughly disinfected with antibacterial solutions and antiseptics.

  • Step 6

    Tiny, flexible specialized instruments are used to shape the canals in the tooth. This is done so the tooth can be filled with sealants. Before they are sealed any debris is removed and they are cleaned and sanitized again.

  • Step 7

    The freshly prepared canals are filled with a rubber like material. This substance is called gutta-percha. The material is thermoplastic, which basically means that heat shapes the material and then is compressed to firmly sit inside and stick to the inside walls of the canal to seal them. A dental adhesive cement, better known as a sealant, is also used with the gutta-percha to seal off the canal. This is an important step because it prevents the tooth from becoming infected again in the future.

  • Step 8

    Each dental case is different, so a temporary or permanent filling substance is placed in the hole that was made to enter the canal. Then the dental dam is removed.

  • Step 8

    Each dental case is different, so a temporary or permanent filling substance is placed in the hole that was made to enter the canal. Then the dental dam is removed.

  • Step 9 ( if necessary)

    If necessary a post may be inserted. This depends on several factors such as the structure of the tooth. If a temporary filling is used then it’s vital that patients come back for the permanent filling or crown to reduce the chance of the tooth becoming infected later on.

Antibiotics are commonly prescribed to treat any remaining infection.

Understanding the Root Canal Process

root canal treatmentA lot like the root of a tree, the root canals in the tooth have a main root that branches off to smaller roots. This whole area needs to be sealed off properly to be successful and not cause problems later.

There is a great deal of precision and care needed to treat such small spaces within the tooth’s root canal.

That’s why Dr. Moradian uses state-of-the-art technology such as digital imaging in his Tampa office to pinpoint the severity of the root canal issues. Once the procedure is completed he checks again to verify that everything is sealed properly.

To do this properly ultrasonic equipment, such as specialized microscopes are used to remove old fillings in the canal, as visualize the and seal the tooth properly.

Understanding the process should give you an idea of what to expect and reduce patients’ fears.

Root canals have come a long way over the years with the improvement and medical training of dentists. The process eliminates pain and has a higher chance of success to save the tooth, while reducing complications in the future.

How Long Does a Root Canal Take?

It commonly takes 30 minutes to an hour. However, if the case is more severe and the patient has put off the treatment for some time there may be some complexities.

Therefore it could take around 90 minutes. Root canals typically require 2 sessions.

Many people make the mistake and assume that they’ll be in pain for the duration of the procedure. This is incorrect because your dentist uses local anesthesia. 

Therefore, you’ll have pain for much longer, and much more severe, if you don’t get a root canal.

Pain after a root canal

It is common to feel discomfort after a root canal. Your dentist will prescribe some pain medication for you if necessary, but usually over the counter medication (OTC) will work fine. Most patients explain that the tooth is tender or sensitive for a few days after the root canal procedure. This is common.

However, in most cases, the sensitivity disappears after a couple days. In the unusual and uncommon case that the pain persists longer than that, or have an unbearable throbbing pain, contact Dr. Moradian’s office for an emergency appointment.

Root Canal Services for Hillsborough County

Tampa Dental Clinic Root Canal