If the inside of your tooth becomes decayed or infected, then a root canal procedure may be necessary to relieve your pain and restore the function of the tooth. Juan M. Carrillo, DMD, is committed to providing the most comfortable and pain-free root canal procedures possible, and, in many cases, Dr. Carrillo can even complete the entire procedure in just one visit. Call his friendly staff today at the Richmond, Virginia, office, or make an appointment online.
A root canal procedure is used to repair and save a tooth once decay or infection has spread to the tooth’s pulp and nerves, which are contained in the root canal. During the procedure, Dr. Carrillo removes the pulp and cleans the root canal thoroughly, then seals it to prevent future infection.
Without treatment, a tooth with an infected root canal can develop a painful abscess around it that can have dangerous complications. Dr. Carrillo can provide root canal treatment and also perform root canal restorations.
While root canal procedures developed a reputation in decades past as a painful procedure, in reality, a root canal infection is many times more painful than the procedure used to relieve it. Modern root canal procedures are designed to make you as comfortable as possible, and most patients report that with local anesthetic, a root canal is no more painful than any other dental procedure.
As your tooth heals, you may experience some tenderness, particularly in cases of infection, but this will pass within a few days and can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
A root canal procedure typically has multiple steps: Dr. Carrillo identifies inflamed or infected pulp, removes it, cleans the root canal, and then seals it. Many dentists perform these procedures over several visits, but Dr. Carrillo can usually complete the entire process in just one appointment.
First, Dr. Carrillo uses a visual exam and an X-ray to identify the extent of the decay or infection. Then, he administers a local anesthetic to numb your tooth and the surrounding area. He also isolates the tooth to keep saliva and other particles out of the open tooth.
Dr. Carrillo makes a small hole in the top of the tooth and uses tiny instruments to clean the pulp from the root canal inside. Once the pulp is removed and the root canal is cleaned, Dr. Carrillo fills the space with a material called gutta-percha, a material similar to rubber that’s a safe and sturdy replacement for natural pulp.
Adhesive cement ensures that the gutta-percha seals off the inside of the tooth from bacteria that could cause another infection. Dr. Carrillo then completes the procedure by placing a dental crown on the tooth to restore its appearance and function.
If you think you need a root canal procedure, or if you need past root canal work restored, call Dr. Carrillo’s office or make an appointment online.