Beneath the white enamel and the layer of dentin in your teeth rests a soft tissue called pulp. Within the pulp are blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues, which extend from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the root. While the pulp tissue is vital to growth and development of a recently erupted tooth, it can be removed once the tooth is fully mature, and it is here that nerves and other biological materials may need to be removed when a tooth begins to hurt from a deep cavity or deep filling. A root canal removes the inflamed or diseased tissue inside the tooth and disinfects and seals the inside of the tooth from future infections, thereby saving it from extraction. At Story City Dental, our dentist, Dr. Binkowski, is one of the few general dentists in the area who provides root canals on all teeth, including molars.
A root canal involves the removal of an inflamed nerve or an infection inside a tooth. This procedure is needed when the nerve tissue inside a tooth has become irritated, infected or necrotic. Many things can affect your nerves, including deep filling placement, deep cavities, a crack or outright fracture, or trauma to the tooth.
If you are experiencing severe localized pain in a tooth, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration, or tenderness in nearby bone and gum tissues, you may have a tooth that needs a root canal. Also be aware that the need for a root canal can be discovered, without any symptoms, in a routine dental exam if pathology in X-ray images is found around the tooth roots.
Dr. Binkowski can usually perform a full root canal, core buildup and crown prep in one appointment; however, this varies on the complexity of the tooth and can take longer. Prior to getting you numb, Dr. B will take a high-resolution 3D X-ray image so he can see inside the tooth to reduce missing any canals during the root canal. After administering local anesthesia, he places a rubber dam over the tooth for isolation. A small access is made into the tooth to reach the anesthetized nerve tissue, which is then removed. Diluted disinfectant rinses the inside of the pulp chamber and canals, and the tooth is sealed with a sealer and rubbery material. The inside of the crown of the tooth is rebuilt with white resin, and then the tooth is prepared for a crown to protect it from future fracture. Dr. B will go over the procedure with you in more detail prior to your appointment as well as any anesthesia options. If you are extremely apprehensive about having a root canal, consider IV sedation. We are the only office in the greater area that offers IV sedation (both moderate and deep) with root canals.