Root Canal Treatment
A root canal is an endodontic treatment with a goal to repair and preserve a badly damaged or infected tooth. The word “Endo” is Greek for “inside,” meaning the procedure involves a dentist removing bacteria and dying or already dead tissue from inside a tooth.
The term “root canal” alludes to the actual canals or stems of the tooth that are called the “pulp.” In the earliest stages of infection, a patient may not feel any pain at all. However, without professional care, the infection could progress into a toothache, swelling, or even a dental abscess. A root canal removes the infection and prevents the infection from spreading further.
Most common signs that a person might need a root canal:
- Severe pain
- Prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
- Tenderness to touch
- Difficulty chewing
- Tooth discoloration
- Swelling of the gums
- Drainage of the gums
- Tenderness in the lymph nodes
- Gum and/or tooth disease
- Simple Steps to Root Canal
- First, the dentist will take an x-ray to determine the shape of the root canals and to inspect for any signs of infection to the surrounding bone
- Next, your dentist will use anesthesia to numb the area surrounding the tooth
- In order to keep the area dry, the dentist will then place a rubber dam around the tooth to keep it free of any saliva
- The dentist will then use a drill in order to access the center of the tooth
- Root canal files and water or a similar solution are then used to remove the pulp, bacteria, decayed nerve tissue, and any other related debris from inside of the tooth
- Finally, once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned it is sealed
What to Expect After a Root Canal?
For the first few days after the root canal the tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain before the procedure. Any such sensitivity or discomfort is typically controlled with over-the-counter pain medications. Most patients return to their normal activities the day after the operation and will gain full, pain-free use of their tooth moving forward!