Root canal treatment has always been perceived as a painful procedure and it can sound pretty scary to many people. In reality, this is actually the opposite of what it does to a person. Root canal treatment, in fact, does not cause pain, but it provides a person a relief from pain.
Root canal treatment is one of the most recommended methods and an effective way to save an extremely damaged or decayed tooth. The procedure will have to involve the removal of the infected pulp (the part of the tooth that contains the blood vessels as well as the nerve endings), and the cleaning of the cavity and filling it with a certain filling material and sealing it afterwards. The factors that cause damage to a pulp are a deep cavity, trauma from injury, cracked tooth, and repetitive dental procedures or treatments. The reason why it is called a root canal is because the procedure refers to the cleanings of the insides of the tooth.
A damaged or infected pulp has to be addressed or it could be the cause of the spread of bacteria within the pulp chamber. If left untreated, it can eventually result in an infected or abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth means there is pus that has formed at the end of the tooth’s roots. A pulp that is infected can cause the following conditions:
- The other parts of your body including your neck, face, and head, will begin to swell of get inflamed.
- There can be possible drainage problems that can start from the roots of your tooth and eventually extend to your gums and even to your skin
- Bone loss at the tips of your roots
If you have a damaged permanent tooth and you want to save it from being pulled out, a root canal treatment will be an ideal procedure. This can be performed by any dentist who has undergone endodontic treatment or an endodontist.
How is a root canal treatment performed?
An inflamed or infected pulp needs to be addressed by a root canal treatment but before performing this procedure, your dentist will have to make sure that you will not be feeling any pain so he will administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth that needs the treatment as well as its surrounding areas. Once he confirms that you feel nothing but numbness, he can start with the procedure.
Your dentist will start the treatment by drilling a hole into the biting surface of your tooth so that he can gain access to its pulp. Once the hole is made, your dentist will proceed to removing the pulp but you do not have to worry about pain because of the anesthesia. As soon as the infected pulp and the nerves are removed, you should not be feeling any toothache moving forward. This is because when you suffer from pain, that only means that the pulp of your decayed tooth is already infected. The root canals will then be cleaned by your dentist before he fills its insides. He will make sure it is disinfected before he fills it with a material called gutta percha. After the filling, your dentist will seal the tooth. To ensure protection, the tooth will be covered with a dental crown until it is ready to function like a natural tooth once again.
You may be prescribed with an antibiotic by your dentist after the procedure to make sure you avoid infections. Make sure that you carefully follow your dentist’s instruction to reduce the risk of side effects of the treatment.
Why is a root canal treatment important?
- The treatment can restore your natural chewing functions so that chewing becomes a lot easier for you. It will start to function just like the rest of your natural tooth.
- It can restore the natural appearance of your teeth without having to consider tooth extraction nor replacement
- It protects your other teeth from staining and wearing
- It restores your natural biting force because there is no damaged tooth that you should be worried about.