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Root Canal Q&A

What is a root canal?

Sometimes it is possible for tooth decay to penetrate deep into the interior of a tooth. A root canal is a procedure in which Dr. Kim removes the decay from the pulpy interior of the tooth and seals the tooth to protect it from further damage. The treatment follows the same principles as those for treating cavities on the surface of the tooth, but due to the location of the decay in the interior of the tooth, Dr. Kim uses special instruments and techniques developed by WaveOne Gold to reach the interior of the tooth.

The pulpy interior of a tooth extends through the canals that run from the center of the tooth through the roots that hold it in place in the jaw. The pulp is home to the nerves and blood vessels that keep the tooth healthy and strong.

What happens during a root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment is very similar to having a cavity filled. First, Dr. Kim numbs your tooth and the surrounding tissue. Then, using special WaveOne Gold instruments, Dr. Kim carefully removes any decayed or damaged pulp from the interior of your tooth. He makes sure the tooth is clean and that all debris is removed before filling the tooth and sealing it to prevent any further decay.

As the final step, Dr. Kim places a crown on top of the treated tooth for additional support and strength.

Does a root canal hurt?

While root canals have a reputation for being painful, Dr. Kim uses WaveOne Gold dental technology and treatment techniques to make this procedure as pain-free as possible. You may experience some tenderness after the local anesthetic wears off, but it should be manageable with over-the-counter painkillers and should subside in a day or so.

If my tooth is that damaged, shouldn’t I just have it removed?

While each patient’s experience is unique, in most cases it’s better for your overall dental health to preserve and protect your natural teeth. The roots of your teeth help to stimulate bone growth and strength in your jaw, and without that support, your jaw may eventually weaken and put your other teeth at risk of falling out.

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