Christopher D. Kooning DMD, PC
(503) 673-9097

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Root Canal Therapy

The phrase "root canal" can bring a shiver to many patients. It is a sorely misunderstood dental procedure. Often associated with pain, we are not causing it, we are relieving it. Root canal therapy is needed when a patient has bacteria that has extended deep within the tooth, until it is no longer on the outside portion, but the inside pulp of the tooth. This bit of bacteria infects the pulp, causing a very painful problem for the patient. At Kooning Family Dentistry we can remove the infected material and restore the tooth, removing the pain and making it functional again.

How did the Inside Part of my Tooth Become Infected?

There are a few ways the tooth pulp can become infected, these may include:
•  Decay-causing bacteria associated with cavities
•  A crack or fracture in your tooth, which may be unknown or not visible to the patient
•  A tooth that has had multiple or repeated dental procedures done
•  A tooth that has had a traumatic impact injury, possibly causing tiny hairline fractures in the tooth

If a cavity is ignored, the cavity does not heal itself, it does not just go away, it continues to grow. Cavities are caused by decay-causing bacteria that eat away at your tooth. This bacteria continues to develop and worsen if not removed. As it worsens, it can reach down into the layers of your tooth. You may first notice the tinge of sensitivity or pain once it goes below the enamel and into the dentin of your tooth. Under the layer of dentin is the area of your tooth known as the pulp. With bacteria in this area, it can be very painful. It will not heal on its own, you will require the assistance of a dentist to avoid extraction.

What is the Root Canal Therapy Procedure?

To remove the infection and restore your tooth's function, we need to gain access to the problem. After the tooth is thoroughly numbed, Dr. Kooning goes inside if for direct access. He will open the tooth and then proceed to remove the entire pulp, along with the disease causing bacteria. The pulp is the inner portion of your tooth, it consists of nerves, connective tissues, and living cells called odontoblasts. This inner portion of your tooth was necessary to grow your tooth, but one the tooth is fully grown, it is OK to remove it. He will then clean out the canal with an antibacterial wash and fill the space with medicated rubber.

With the tooth now clear of bacteria, Dr. Kooning will close the space with filler material. Because a large portion of the tooth had to be tunneled out, the tooth has been weakened, making it more susceptible to breakage. Depending on the location of the tooth in your mouth, Dr. Kooning may recommend the placement of a dental crown or cap for the tooth. This will shield the tooth from breakage and further damage. With the crown in place, the tooth is now fully restored.

Schedule Your Root Canal Appointment

For more information on root canal therapy, the inner portion of your tooth, and your options for restoring a tooth, call our office located in Lake Oswego, OR at (503) 673-9097 to make an appointment with Dr. Chris Kooning.
Christopher D. Kooning DMD, PC
(503) 673-9097

15962 Boones Ferry Rd, Suite 105
Lake Oswego, OR 97035

8 AM–5 PM
8 AM–5 PM
8 AM–5 PM
8 AM–3 PM
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