Understanding Root Canal Treatment
The nerves underneath your teeth can sometimes become infected. When they do, you may require a root canal treatment to help preserve the tooth and alleviate the pain. By keeping your tooth, you can also prevent further issues with drifting teeth or jaw problems – and of course, the hassle of putting in an artificial tooth.
What Is A Root Canal Treatment?
Root canals often referred to as endodontic treatments, remove the infected or dead pulp in the root of your tooth. Inside the hard layers of your teeth, you have root canals, which are filled with dental pulp containing blood vessels and nerves, which help your teeth grow and develop. This area can become infected when you have a crack, cavity or broken filling that allows bacteria to enter into the pulp. Once the infection settles into the root canal, you may experience swelling or pain. Infected pulp cannot be treated with antibiotics; instead, the pulp must be removed.
Understanding The Root Canal Procedure
Root canal therapy is performed by your dentist or their in-house endodontic specialist. If the infected pulp occurs in a young child, the procedure may be performed by a pediatric dentist. During the appointment, your dental professional will work to remove the infected pulp by:
- Using a local anesthetic to avoid any pain during the procedure
- Protecting the area from any bacteria in your mouth (especially your saliva), by placing a rubber dam around the tooth
- Making an opening within the gums and tooth so that the root canal system is exposed
- Removing the pulp and cleaning out the root canal system using very fine instruments
- Filling and sealing the root canal
- Sealing the tooth with a permanent or temporary filling to prevent further infection
After the root canal, your dentist will need to restore the tooth so that it looks and feels just like your other teeth. Immediately after the procedure, you will have a temporary filling put in place until you can return to have a permanent restoration done. Often, a filling or crowns are used to restore the tooth. Root canal treatments are completed in one to two visits. You may experience tenderness in the treated area for a few weeks after, depending on the extent of the original infection. In most cases, you will not need further treatment on the tooth once the procedure is done. If you need a root canal, it is imperative you book an appointment with our Scarborough dentists immediately to avoid further discomfort or future surgeries.
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