A root canal is a procedure that removes the nerve of the tooth and surrounding pulp. It's primarily used to rid the tooth of any infection that may have found its way inside through a fissure or small break in the tooth’s enamel. During the procedure, Dr. LaBombard can make any other necessary repairs that may be needed.
To finish the procedure, Dr. LaBombard fills the hole in the tooth with a special composite material that resembles the original pulp and places a temporary crown over the tooth to protect it from infection. Once the tooth has healed sufficiently, he replaces the temporary crown with a permanent one.
While it is rare, a root canal can fail when small pockets of infection are missed during the original procedure. Tiny channels inside the pulp of the tooth create perfect hiding places for small amounts of bacteria. A second root canal is needed to remove the rest of the infection and repair the tooth.
If the root canal is a success, your pain and discomfort begin to subside within a day or two of the procedure. If the pain persists and increases in intensity, a small amount of infection may remain inside the tooth that needs to be removed before complete healing can take place.
Dr. LaBombard may choose to wait for several weeks before replacing the temporary crown with a permanent one. It's important to wait to ensure that there is no infection left inside the tooth. In most cases, this is apparent within the first few days.
Once Dr. LaBombard is sure the tooth has completely healed and there is no longer any fear of infection, he thoroughly cleans the tooth and applies a permanent crown.