Root Canal Procedures
What is a root canal?
A root canal (endodontic treatment) is a procedure that dentists do to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. The nerve and pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed up. When the nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, bacteria begin to fill up inside the pulp chamber. This can cause an infection or abscessed tooth, which is a pus-filled pocket that develops at the end of the roots of a tooth. An infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause swelling in the face, neck, or head, loss of bone around the root area, or a hole that can cause drainage into the gums or skin.
In actuality, a tooth’s nerve is not that important for the tooth’s health and function. With a root canal procedure, the tissue surrounding the tooth’s root will not be affected by bacterial infection and will be free from inflammation. Therefore, you will be free from pain and swelling.
During the procedure, the dentists at Karing Dental Center will first take an X-ray of your tooth to see the shape of the root canal and if any infection has occurred around the bone. Then, your dentist will need to gain access to the nerve tissue inside your tooth. Next, the bacteria, damaged nerve tissue, and related debris are removed from inside the tooth by the use of a “root canal” file. Then, the tooth has to be filled and sealed to make sure that bacteria will not build up again. The root canal filling material, which is called gutta percha, also helps any debris from leaking out and causing inflammation in your mouth. Sometimes your dentist may put in a temporary filling and have you come back for another appointment to finish the process by filling the tooth permanently. Finally, to restore the tooth even further, a crown, which is a tooth-shaped “cap,” or a crown and dental post may be placed on the tooth to restore its shape and size, prevent breakage, and make it look better.
How long does a root canal treatment take?
The amount of time it will take to have a root canal treatment done depends on a couple of factors. First of all, different teeth have different amount of root canals. For example, a front tooth has one root canal where a molar has three or more root canals.
In any case, it’s better to have the procedure done sooner than later because even if you don’t feel any pain associated with the tooth in need of a root canal, the infection related to the tooth can still cause damage to the bone in the surrounding area. If you need the treatment, you should try to schedule an appointment at Karing Dental as soon as possible. If there are scheduling conflicts, your dentist can at least help your tooth feel free from pain and then schedule another appointment later to finish the work.
Does the procedure hurt?
Root canal treatment isn’t painful; it takes away the pain. The damaged tissue in the tooth is what causes you pain, so when it’s removed, you’re pain-free. The myth that a root canal is painful started decades ago, but with new technologies and anesthetics they’re no more uncomfortable than having a tooth filled. In fact, patients who have gone through the procedure are more likely to describe it as painless than those who have never had a root canal treatment.
How do I know that I need a root canal treatment?
At Karing Dental Center, dentists can only determine if a root canal is right for you by examining your teeth, but there are ways for you to know whether you should be seeing a dentist. Sometimes there are no symptoms present, but when they are, here is what you should look for: