Endodontic treatment is a term used to describe dental procedures that focus on the interior portion of the tooth — a root canal is the most common endodontic procedure. Dr. Adriana Barrera has more than 20 years of experience in endodontics and offers comprehensive care to men and women in and around Torrance, California. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the fast and easy online scheduling tool.
Endodontic procedures focus on the inside portion of the teeth, while many other dental procedures address decay in the outermost layers of your teeth.
Hard enamel composes the outermost layer of your teeth. Directly underneath is another layer of hard tissue known as dentin. Next lies the inner chamber of your tooth, which contains a soft tissue known as pulp, made up of tiny blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves.
If your pulp becomes damaged or infected, inflammation can lead to significant pain. Left untreated, an abscess can develop at the root of your tooth.
When the pulp of a tooth becomes infected, you may experience moderate to severe pain. A root canal is a dental procedure to remove and replace infected pulp, followed by restoration and strengthening of the entire tooth structure.
The process begins with a local anesthetic. Dr. Barrera then drills a small hole into the crown of your tooth. That access point allows her to use incredibly small instruments to carefully remove the pulp from the inner chamber of your tooth and shape the interior.
Once the inner chamber of your tooth has been properly cleaned and shaped, Dr. Barrera fills the chamber with a material called gutta percha. She uses a temporary filling to close the access point.
Next, a dental lab creates a customized crown that will cover the entire visible portion of your tooth. The crown serves to strengthen the tooth and restore proper function. Once it arrives, Dr. Barrera cements it into place, completing the restoration.
Once your root canal is complete, and your new crown is in place, your tooth will look and function just like your other teeth. Just brush and floss as you normally would.
Once your pulp is gone, and before your crown returns from the lab, your tooth will be incredibly vulnerable. It’s critical to avoid placing undue pressure on your tooth during this phase of treatment, as it won’t be structurally sound until the crown is installed.
From that point on, be sure to schedule routine dental exams and cleanings with Dr. Barrera to ensure optimal dental health.