Understanding Root Canal Therapy

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Chances are good that you’ve seen it on TV or heard a friend or family member grumble about needing to get a root canal. This cliché is usually related more to the discomfort associated with the problem tooth than it is the procedure itself.

In reality a root canal is usually the last course of action to take to save a tooth where the dentin and possibly the root have become infected.

A root canal procedure, also known as endodontic therapy shares many procedures with a fitting a basic crown. The major difference with a root canal is that more of the tooth is removed. With a crown procedure only some of the enamel is removed. With a root canal the infected parts of the tooth are removed and replaced with a material called gutta-percha.

The tooth is then prepared for to be fitted for a crown. An impression is then taken and the stub is then fitted with a temporary crown. The impression is sent off to a dental laboratory where a permanent crown is then made. Crowns can be made from several materials including porcelain, ceramic and gold.

Your dentist will usually schedule a follow up appointment a few weeks later to fit the final permanent crown in place. The tooth then has all the same strength and durability of any other tooth in your mouth.

If you are concerned that you might need a root canal please feel free to call us at 503-649-7011 to schedule an appointment.