Learning more about what a general dentist can do for you is a great idea. There are many different types of dentists for you to choose from, making it necessary for you to understand which type of dentist you should visit when in need of dental services.
Can a general dentist perform a root canal?
Wondering if a general dentist can perform a root canal on their dental patients? Yes, they can. In fact, this type of dental procedure is performed often in order to save a tooth from being lost forever. While general dentists can indeed perform root canals, when a root canal is deemed to be difficult, they may refer a patient to see an endodontist.
According to the American Dental Association, dentists' areas of care include not only their patients' teeth and gums but also the muscles of the head, neck and jaw, the tongue, salivary glands, the nervous system of the head and neck and other areas.
The root canal procedure
The list below includes what dental patients can expect when they are in need of root canal therapy in order to save a tooth. Once a patient sits in the dental chair, it takes about an hour and a half for the dentist to perform the procedure. While the entire root canal procedure can often be done in just one trip to the dental office, some patients will need two appointments to complete the process. While not all patients need a dental crown placed after the procedure, some do.
X-rays are taken
Taking an X-ray allows the dentist to learn more about the shape of the tooth’s root canal, as well as see if there are any signs of mouth infection present, e.g., an abscess. The therapy procedure is based on what the X-rays show, as this is the only way for the dentist to know exactly what is happening inside the problem tooth and the affected area.
Anesthesia is given to the patient
Local anesthesia is injected into the area to be treated so the patient will not feel anything while the procedure is being performed. After the anesthesia has taken effect, which only takes a few minutes, the dentist will then place a rubber dam over the patient’s tooth in order to keep the area clean, as well as prevent any debris from spreading to the rest of the mouth.
A small hole is drilled
The dentist will drill a small hole in the infected tooth, which is used to remove the pulp, bacteria, nerve tissue and any debris that can cause even more problems. This process is necessary to remove all the infection and completely clean out the tooth. Root canal files are used to make sure that the inside of the tooth is thoroughly clean.
The tooth is filled and sealed
The last step of the procedure is to fill the tooth, which helps keep it strong and helps prevent it from becoming further damaged. The material used is similar to rubber and is used to fill the now hollow tooth. A special dental sealing paste is then used to seal the filling into the tooth, allowing it to once again function properly.
Is root canal therapy in your near future?
If you need a general dentist to examine your mouth in order to find out if you are in need of a root canal, we invite you to contact us now to schedule this important dental appointment. When one or more of your teeth are in jeopardy of being lost forever, it is important for you to undergo any necessary dental procedures so you can still have a full mouth of teeth. A healthy mouth includes all teeth, and when just one is missing, you need to choose a replacement.
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