Root canal treatment is one treatment that strikes fear in many people, typically due to the misconceptions that the treatment is painful. However, it’s important to note that when done correctly, root canal treatment is a seamless and painless procedure.
Root Canal treatment is given to save or repair a tooth that has been infected or decayed. Failure to treat the tooth can result in damaged tissue and a dental abscess, a build-up of pus in the tooth caused by bacterial infections. Bacteria enter the cavity, cause a crack in the tooth, known as a cavity, and go downstream to the tooth root.
The tooth gradually decays to a point where the tooth is considered ‘dead’. In this circumstance, the tooth may require extraction because it can no longer be saved. However, if there are healthy remains of the tooth, root canal treatment would be necessary.
If you’ve several questions on what to expect with root canal treatment, this guide will answer all the questions you may have.
What To Expect From A Root Canal Procedure?
Before root canal treatment begins, the dentist would perform a medical evaluation to gain a better understanding of the current state of your oral health before getting to work on the affected tooth.
Performing The Treatment
Root canal treatment is performed under local anesthesia. This means that there will be little to zero feeling during treatment as the affected area will become numb. This is performed with a needle and a rubber sheet is placed to isolate the tooth and keep it clean whilst the root canal is performed.
Once the anesthesia is applied, the following stages of treatment are performed:
Clean The Affected Area And Remove the Infected Pulp
The infected tissue (or pulp) will need to be removed completely to reduce the chances of further infection. When the tooth’s nerve tissue is damaged, the bacteria is likely to cause a dental abscess and eventually bone loss. The dentist will ensure that the affected area is cleaned thoroughly.
Apply A Rubber Dam
A rubber dam is placed around the tooth is isolated the tooth during treatment. An opening is then made so that the root canal is cleaned.
Enlarge The Canal And Place The Filling
The root canal is enlarged for easier filling once the pulp is removed. The dentist may enlarge the canal to make it easier to apply the filling. The idea behind this is to block any bacteria accessing the tooth.
Seal And Apply The Crown
Gutta Percha (a thermoplastic filling made of rubber) is placed and sealed inside the root canal, a substance that’s filled in the tooth to prevent reinfection. The filling is then sealed before a new crown is cemented on top to complete the treatment.
After Root Canal Treatment
After treatment, you’re unlikely to experience any side effects as there is no nerve. Therefore, this takes away any feelings or sensations when you eat hot and cold foods. After treatment, you’ll need to get used to a slightly different bite.
Should you experience any pain or soreness, the dentist will provide some instructions on how to manage it. Typically, aftercare tips include brushing your teeth gently and booking regular check-ups at the dentist so that the crown and canal both remain healthy.
Why Can’t The Tooth Just Be Extracted?
Dentistry’s main objective is to save or preserve the health of your teeth. There are more cons to extracting the tooth compared to keeping it. When a tooth begins to decay, it becomes vulnerable to infection, and the dentist will always seek to save the tooth with a root canal unless the tooth has been decayed beyond repair.
Saving a tooth means that your tooth will still function like a natural tooth whilst maintaining the structure of your mouth. If a tooth is extracted, your surrounding tooth could shift out of position, causing biting and alignment issues. Missing teeth can also impact overall mouth functioning, and if the extracted tooth isn’t replaced, there is a greater chance of infection in the future.
In the event that a tooth needs extraction, it should be restored with other cosmetic options such as a dental implant to ensure the structure of your mouth remains.
Are you seeking root canal treatment? Consult your local dentist today for an appointment!