What's Involved in Root Canal Therapy?

Root canal therapy, also called endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure that repairs and saves badly damaged or infected teeth. Rather than removing the tooth completely, the dentist drills into the tooth to access the root canal system and removes the infected or inflamed pulp inside.
Root Canal Therapy:- Root canal therapy, also called endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure that repairs and saves badly damaged or infected teeth. [NewsGram]
Root Canal Therapy:- Root canal therapy, also called endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure that repairs and saves badly damaged or infected teeth. [NewsGram]

By Veselina Dzhingarova

Root canal therapy, also called endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure that repairs and saves badly damaged or infected teeth. Rather than removing the tooth completely, the dentist drills into the tooth to access the root canal system and removes the infected or inflamed pulp inside. The empty canal is then cleaned, shaped, and filled to seal it off and prevent further infection. Here’s an overview of what’s involved in getting a root canal.

Diagnosing the Need for a Root Canal

If the inner pulp of your tooth becomes infected or inflamed, you’ll experience throbbing pain and sensitivity. This often happens due to severe tooth decay, a cracked tooth, repeated dental procedures, or trauma to the tooth. If the pulp remains infected, you may develop an abscess or gum infection.

Your dentist will examine your tooth, checking for swelling, tenderness, or sinus tracts (small holes draining pus). They may tap gently on your teeth to test for pain and take x-rays to see the extent of infection and damage inside the tooth. If the tooth pulp is infected or necrotic (dead), a root canal will be recommended.

Numbing and Accessing the Tooth

Your dentist will give you a local anaesthetic to numb the area around the affected tooth. Once your tooth is numb, your dentist will place a small rubber sheet called a dental dam over the area to isolate the tooth. They’ll then drill an access hole through the biting surface of your tooth and into the pulp chamber and root canals inside. You may feel some vibration and pressure during access, but no pain due to the anaesthetic.

Cleaning and Shaping the Root Canals

Fine instruments called root canal files will be inserted into each root canal to remove dead tissue, bacteria, and decayed matter from inside the tooth. Your dentist will also thoroughly rinse each canal with antibacterial solutions to disinfect them. The canals are then shaped and smoothed so they can be effectively filled and sealed. A temporary filling may be placed to keep the tooth sealed between appointments.

Filling and Sealing the Root Canals

Once the inside of your tooth has been cleaned, shaped, and disinfected, the empty root canal system will be permanently filled and sealed. This commonly involves a rubber-like material called gutta-percha along with cement to fill the entire canal space. The access hole in your tooth will then be sealed with a temporary or permanent filling to completely close off the tooth. Learn more from this website.

Placing a Dental Crown

After a root canal, your tooth is more brittle and prone to cracking or re-breaking. Therefore, your dentist will likely recommend placing a dental crown on your tooth to protect and restore it. The crown acts like a cap, covering your tooth and creating a strong, sealed barrier to prevent future infection or fractures. Getting a crown helps ensure the long-term success of your root canal.

Recovery and Aftercare

You may have some tenderness in your tooth and surrounding gums for a few days after your root canal. This usually responds well to over-the-counter painkillers. Avoid chewing on the treated tooth until it has been restored by a crown. Good oral hygiene and regular dental visits can help prevent re-infection in your tooth. With proper care, a root canal and crown can last many years before needing retreatments.

While intensive, root canal therapy is an effective way to save damaged teeth and avoid extractions. Working closely with your endodontist through the multi-step procedure is key to achieving the best outcome.

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