Craig A. Dunlop DDS -  Practice limited to Endodontics


Endodontic treatment (root canal) is performed as an attempt to save a tooth that may otherwise require extraction. When the pulp inside the tooth becomes irreversibly damaged, dies, or becomes infected, the pulp tissue must be removed. The inside of the tooth must be cleaned, shaped properly, and filled.

Endodontic Procedure
1. After administering anesthetic to numb the tooth, the doctor places a small protective sheet called a “dental dam” over the area to isolate the tooth. The dental dam helps keep the tooth sterile during the procedure and also keeps the dental materials that we use from getting into your mouth.

2. To access the pulp tissue, the doctor makes an opening in the biting
surface of back teeth or the tongue surface of front teeth. Very small
instruments are then used to clean out the pulp tissue and shape the canals for filling.

3. When the canals are cleaned and shaped, they are filled with a rubber-like material called “gutta percha” and a sealing cement. The top portion of the tooth is sealed with a temporary filling until your general dentist does the permanent restoration, which is usually a crown. The crown is needed to protect the tooth from fracture(s) and restore it to full function.