What Is a Root Canal?
Root canal treatment is one in which the infected parts of a tooth are removed, and the remainder of the tooth is restored and saved from further decay. It is a procedure that may be recommended to remove the bacteria from the infected tooth. It could also be suggested as one of the ways to save the natural tooth and prevent the tooth from reinfection. As part of the root canal procedure, the tooth is cleaned, and a filling is placed to close the space.
When May a Root Canal Be Suggested?
A dentist may recommend a root canal when oral bacteria finds its way inside the tooth and invades the pulp. It occurs when a cavity remains untreated in the tooth. A root canal may also be suggested when the teeth are cracked or damaged due to trauma.
Symptoms of a Root Canal
The most common scenarios in which a dentist could recommend a root canal are as follows.
Tooth Pain That Refuses To Wean Away
Most dental problems may cause tooth pain. If the tooth pain does not reduce, the dentist could recommend a root canal. A few patients could also experience discomfort in other teeth, their jaws, and face.
Sensitivity to Heat and Cold
If the tooth hurts when consuming hot or cold stuff, and the paint stays on for a few seconds, you could be experiencing tooth sensitivity, and the doctor may recommend a root canal.
Pus could be collected around the infected tooth, resulting in puffy, swollen, or tender gums. The dentist could recommend a root canal as a solution.
When the tooth’s pulp is infected, it may make it look darker. It occurs because there is a poor blood supply to the tooth.
Pain Caused When Pressure Is Applied
If one experiences pain while eating or touching the tooth, it may mean that the nerves around the pulp are damaged.
A Chipped or a Cracked Tooth
A tooth may become broken or injured when biting something hard. An accident or an injury may cause the tooth to be chipped or cracked. When a tooth is injured or cracked, bacteria could find their way into the tooth pulp. The dentist may recommend a root canal.
When a tooth is infected, the pus from the infected tooth could soften the bone that supports the tooth and as a result of this, the tooth may become and feel loose.
How Common Is the Root Canal Procedure?
According to the American Association of Endodontists, more than 41,000 root canals are performed in the United States every day. It means over 15 million root canals are performed annually.
How to Prepare for a Root Canal?
Before undergoing a root canal procedure, the doctor will answer all your questions and clarify doubts you have any about the process. The doctor may also prescribe the following steps.
Take All Medications as Prescribed
If there is an infection present, the doctor may prescribe a few anti-inflammatory medications or antibiotics that the patient undergoing the root canal is advised to take.
Avoiding Tobacco Products
The dentist may recommend stopping the intake of tobacco products a few days before the dental procedure. It is because tobacco can come in between the body’s ability to heal itself.
Consuming a Healthy Meal
The doctor may use anesthesia during the root canal procedure. It can leave the mouth numb for a few hours after the root canal procedure. Thus, it is advised to consume the food before the procedure.
How Long Does a Root Canal Procedure Take?
Typically, a root canal procedure may last anywhere between 30 minutes to 90 minutes. However, the duration and the number of sittings required for the procedure depend on the infection in the tooth.
The Root Canal Procedure
Before the process, the doctor may recommend that you take an x-ray of the affected tooth. The X-ray will bring to light the extent of the tooth’s damage.
Local anesthesia could be administered to numb the infected tooth and the surrounding gums. It also helps in relaxing the patient who is undergoing the procedure.
Dental Dam Placement
Prior to the root canal procedure, a small rubber dam is placed on the area. It helps in keeping the tooth dry during the procedure.
After the dental dam is placed, a tiny opening is made in the tooth’s crown. It is done to access the tooth pulp.
Removal of Pulp
With the help of dental instruments, nerves, blood vessels, and tissues from inside the infected tooth is removed.
Shaping the Canals
After the pulp is removed, the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned and shaped.
Filling the Canals
Next the canals are filled with a flexible rubber-based dental material.
Sealing the Tooth
The tooth is filled with a temporary dental filling and it is sealed. This will prevent the bacteria from re-entering the tooth.
Placing a Dental Crown or Filling
A dental crown will be used to protect the treated tooth. Prior to the dental crown being placed or the tooth being filled the patient is advised to refrain from using the tooth. The crown or filling offers protection.
Is The Root Canals Procedure Painful?
As a part of the root canal procedure, the infection is removed. Thus, a section of patients find relief, while others find the procedure painful. An antibiotic may also be prescribed to treat the pain. However, if the pain does not subside and the throbbing pain continues, it is advised to visit a medical practitioner.
What Can One Expect After the Root Canal Procedure?
After undergoing the root canal procedure, one may notice sensitivity which could last for a few days. To combat pain, the dentist could prescribe painkillers. The pain may subside in a couple of weeks.
Care After Undergoing the Root Canal Procedure
After undergoing the procedure, to prevent the tooth from infection the patient may be advised the following.
- Besides in the morning brushing teeth another time in the day.Use fluoride-based toothpaste.
- Replace your toothbrush at regular intervals.
- Visit the dentist regularly for a routine check-up.
- Healthy diet intake.
- Avoid consuming sugary liquids and food.
If you’re looking for a reliable dental expert, contact us at The Family Dental Center. We offer a range of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental procedures for our clients. Book an appointment with us here, and check out our extensive patient resources here. If you have further questions, feel free to reach us at 319-351-3414 or contact us online.