You may have heard that root canal treatment causes you a lot of pain, but that is not a fair explanation to such advanced procedures meant to give us relief. The primary aim of root canal treatment is to save an extremely infected tooth. Dentists perform this treatment for removing any detected bacterial growth, dead or dying tissues from the interiors of the tooth.
Nowadays modern dentistry and technology has evolved to a state where root canal treatment is not as painful as it used to be in the past. Once or twice are the maximum visits you have to make to the dentist for getting a root canal treatment done.
What is a Root Canal?
When a tooth becomes severely infected or decayed, dentists can save and repair the damaged tooth using root canal treatment. When a dentist performs a root canal procedure, he or she removes the pulp and the nerve and cleans and seals the inside of the tooth. If you do not treat a root canal, then the surrounding tissue of the tooth can become infected and abscesses may develop.
The natural cavity in the center of the tooth is the root canal. Within this root canal is a soft area which is the pulp chamber or pulp. Nerves associated with the tooth region are situated inside the root canal.
When Do You Need Root Canal Treatment?
An infection deep inside the tooth is the trigger for a constant pain or discomfort. Bacterial infection sometime affects the pulp inside the tooth, and this can be due to either any injury or a severe and untreated dental cavity. If you do not treat it in time, you may have to have the tooth removed.
What are The Signs And Symptoms of a Root Canal?
You will know that you need root canal treatment when you have the following signs and symptoms:
- You have extreme toothache or pain when you chew food or apply any kind of pressure on the tooth.
- There is a prolonged sensitivity, that is, painful sensation to cold or hot temperatures even after the source of heat or cold has been taken away.
- The tooth becomes darkened or discolored.
- The nearby gums are tender and swollen.
- There is a persistent or recurring pimple on the gums.
Sometimes, no symptoms occur, and this is why it is always recommended to get regular dental examinations done.
How is a Root Canal Treatment Performed?
Normally, a root canal treatment involves four steps and the treatment is completed within two visits to the dentist. The steps are as per the American Association of Endodontists:
- The dentist uses a needle and local anesthesia to make the tooth numb. You might feel a prick when the needle is inserted. Once the tooth is numbed, the endodontist may put a dental dam. It is a small rubber sheet that separates the tooth and keeps it dry and clean during the root canal treatment.
- Next, the dentist uses small drilling tools to make an opening at the top of the tooth. He then clears away all the diseased and damaged pulp inside the tooth and uses files to shape the inside chamber of the tooth. The dentist might wash the inner chamber with water to clear any remaining diseased pulp or apply some antibacterial solution to kill the bacteria and prevent further infection.
- Next, the dentist fills the chamber with a rubber-like substance known as gutta percha. This filling is temporary.
- After a few weeks, the dentist places a permanent crown or similar structure on top of the tooth. He may also place a small supporting post inside the pulp chamber to make the crown more stable, if he thinks it necessary.
Make sure that you good care of your teeth after the root canal treatment. You might need follow-up visits to the dentist and apart from that brush and floss regularly without fail to have healthy and dazzling white teeth.