Bicuspid Root Canal
If an endodontist told you that you need a bicuspid root canal, you might have questions about what that entails. We walk you through the procedure below.
What Is a Bicuspid Tooth?
The bicuspids, often referred to as premolars, are the teeth located between your molars and canine teeth. They have two cusps, which gives them their name. If you count from the back of your mouth forward, your two bicuspids will be the fourth and fifth teeth on each side, top and bottom. Every adult has eight bicuspid teeth to assist with chewing.
What Is a Bicuspid Root Canal?
A bicuspid root canal is a root canal of one of your bicuspid teeth. During the procedure, an endodontist removes the soft tissue or pulp that has become decayed inside a tooth. Then the endodontist refills the canals and body of the tooth with material made from thermoplastic and places a crown on top to protect the root canal.
About the Bicuspid Root Canal Procedure
There are five necessary steps in a bicuspid root canal:
- Taking x-rays: The endodontist will begin by taking x-rays of the bicuspid to see the decay and map out the canals and shape of the tooth. This helps them determine how to perform the surgery.
- Administering local anesthesia: The patient may decide on local anesthesia or going under entirely. It depends on their comfort level and whether they have a fear of the dentist.
- Removing the decay: The endodontist will drill a hole in the bicuspid enamel to access the soft tissue inside of the tooth. Employing a dental file or laser, the endodontist will remove the infected area of the tooth, including the pulp and nerves. Our endodontist relies on an endo microscope for this part of the procedure. If the tooth exhibits a high level of decay, the endodontist may use a camera to look around the area and determine if they treated all the infection.
- Filling the area: Once the endodontist removes the decay, infection and debris, they will fill the area with a thermoplastic material that goes into all the roots. The material maintains the structural integrity of the bicuspid. Endodontists prefer this method to tooth extraction as an extraction can cause the teeth surrounding the removed bicuspid to migrate or become overcrowded.
- Adding the crown: Following the insertion of the thermoplastic material, the endodontist will either top the area with a temporary crown or add the new permanent crown, if it is available. The temporary crown will remain over the tooth until a permanent one — made to fit your mouth — is ready at your dentist’s office.
A bicuspid root canal will hurt no more or less than any other type of root canal. The procedure can cause mild discomfort afterward, but an over-the-counter painkiller will help.