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Root Canals

A root canal is actually a small chamber or channel in which nerves and blood vessels enter and travel within a tooth. When the tissue in this space becomes inflamed or infected, a root canal treatment or endodontic procedure works to remove, disinfect, and seal this small space within the tooth. The entire procedure occurs within the confines of the tooth, the roots are not removed, we simply clean out the inside of the roots and fill them with a suitable material. In many senses, it's like a really deep filling.

Our expert staff will work to provide profound anesthesia or numbing in the region of your tooth prior to any procedure. Once adequately numb, your tooth will be isolated and kept very clean through the use of a rubber dam. A small access opening will be made through the biting surface of the tooth and the root canals will be located with the aid of a microscope. These tiny canal systems will be shaped and cleaned with tiny files and flushed out thoroughly with antibacterial rinses. Once everything is clean and dry, the root canal filling will be placed, but the number of visits will depend on your particular case. Some treatments take 2 visits but many are just a single visit. On very rare occasions multiple visits may be required for the most effective management of your case.

Under many circumstances modern root canal therapy can have a success rate of around 98%. However, if the tooth is heavily infected with bone loss around the roots, the success rate may be in the range of 85-90%. When there are prior complications from a previous root canal, trauma, or periodontal (gum) defect, the success rate may be as low as 50%. If the success rate with your tooth is expected to be low, Dr. Wachlarowicz or Dr. Fravel will discuss that with you and may recommend alternatives that could have a higher success rate like extraction and bridge or implant placement.

For more information visit: http://www.aae.org/Patients/Endodontic_Treatments/Root_Canals.aspx