Root Canal & Crowns

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A root canal treatment is used to restore and present a tooth that is seriously infected or decayed. The process involves eliminating the affected part of the tooth or the pulp, cleaning, disinfecting the affected tooth, filling and closing it, and finally, placing a crown over the tooth to protect it from further damage. Root canals are usually performed by dentists, but endodontists (specialists who treat problems with the pulp of the tooth) can also perform them.

Types of dental crowns

Generally, dental crowns are available in different materials such as:

  • Pressed ceramic
  • All porcelain, or all ceramic
  • All resin
  • Porcelain fused to metal
  • Metal

The type of dental crown that is best for you will depend on the location of the tooth, your bite, and your cosmetic goals.

The two popular types of dental crowns are 3/4 crowns and onlays.  3/4 crowns are used when most of the tooth structure is intact and only the biting surface needs to be covered. Onlays are used when more of the tooth structure is damaged.

Preparing the area: The first step in root canal therapy is numbing the area around the tooth to be treated. This is done using a local anaesthetic. Once the area is numb, your dentist will use a small piece of rubber called a “dental dam” to isolate the tooth. This helps to keep the area clean and free of saliva during the procedure.

Accessing the tooth: Next, your dentist will make a small opening in the tooth to access the pulp chamber. Once the opening is made, your dentist will remove the damaged pulp using special instruments. The root canal chambers and canals are then cleaned and disinfected.

Filling the root canal: After the root canal is cleaned, gutta-percha (rubber like material) is utilized for filling. An impermanent filling will be positioned in the tooth to seal it off. The dentist may add cement to seal the canals and to preserve them from bacteria.

Seal the hole that is created to reach the canals: The dentist also ensures to seal the hole that has been created to reach the canals. It aids in preventing bacteria from accessing the tooth. It is recommended when the tooth cannot withstand the restoration and is severely damaged.

Antibiotics and healing: The dentist may prescribe medicines, such as antibiotics, to control the infection. The patient will be discharged home with certain post-care instructions.

Adding the crown: A crown is added after the root canal is completed to cover and protect the tooth from further damage. A permanent crown can be made of different materials, such as gold, ceramic, or porcelain. It will be made to look just like natural teeth. Once the crown is placed, it can last for many years with proper care.

Treatments

Root canal and crowns are usually done for the following reasons:

  • To save an infected or decayed tooth
  • To avoid tooth extraction
  • To treat an abscessed tooth
  • To repair a broken tooth or tooth with a crack
  • To restore a tooth that is severely damaged or worn down

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