Portland Root CanalWhen a tooth has decay reaching deep into its core, where it can affect the root, it is at high risk of being lost.Tooth replacement can be expensive, fortunately, root canal therapy has the ability to save these at risk teeth. At PDX Center for Dentistry, our goal is to save your teeth and your pocketbook, and root canal therapy is one of the best ways to do just that when it comes to high risk tooth infections.

What is a root canal?

As mentioned above, when teeth experience a deep infection where their root is in danger, they are at a high risk of having to be extracted. In order to save them we can often perform a root canal, where we go into the tooth, remove the infection and save it from extraction. The way we accomplish this is similar to the process we use to get rid of small cavities.

The Process

When your tooth has a small cavity, we remove the infected portion of the tooth with a dental drill, and fill in the space left behind with a filling compound. A root canal is similar, but it requires us to go deeper into the tooth to remove the infection at the core. We start the procedure by numbing the area around the tooth. For those who don’t like the idea of dental procedures we have a variety of sedation option available – just let us know ahead of time and we will be more than happy to accommodate you. Once the site is numb, we can begin the procedure by drilling an access hole, usually at the top of the tooth. Once we have a clear path to the core of your tooth we will remove the infection, and the root of your tooth. There is an inner layer of your tooth that is called the pulp, which is comprised of biological material. We will remove the pulp from your tooth and rinse the now hollow tooth with an antimicrobial wash to ensure total purity.When we have removed all the decay from within the tooth, we can begin filling the tooth back in. We fill the core of the tooth with a substance called gutta-percha. Gutta-percha is an inert substance that ensures your tooth has the structural support it needs to continue to be viable for years. With the core of the tooth filled, we can finish the procedure the same way we finish regular fillings – with a composite, tooth colored filling material.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Prevention beats a cure! We are committed to helping you in the fight against tooth decay. Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is only one part of the recipe for a healthy mouth. You can’t forget to come in to see us at least twice a year for your regular cleanings and examinations. During these appointments we can ensure that you aren’t developing any oral health issues and we can thoroughly clean your teeth and gums. Give us a call today at (503) 546-9079 to schedule your appointment.