Root Canal Treatment
A root canal is a dental treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly infected or decayed. Normally root canals are needed when there is an infection deep within the tooth. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth, as well as the pulp, will become infected and abscesses may form.
Modern techniques and technology have helped root canals evolve into relatively comfortable treatments that often require no more than one or two trips to the dentist.
Causes of abscess and infection in the root canal:
- Bone loss around the tip of the root
- Swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head
- Drainage problems extending outward from the root
After an X-ray has been taken to see the shape of the root canal, your dentist will use a local anesthesia to numb the area near the tooth. To keep the area dry and free from saliva, your dentist will place a rubber dam around the tooth. An access hole will then be drilled into the tooth and the pulp along with bacteria and decayed nerve tissue is removed from the tooth.
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it is sealed. If there is an infection, you may be put on medication until the tooth is cleared up. If the root canal is not completed on the same day, a temporary filling is placed in the exterior hole in the tooth to keep out contaminants like saliva and food.
At the next appointment, a sealer paste and rubber compound is placed into the tooth’s root canal. The final step may involve further restoration of the tooth. A crown or a crown and post will need to be placed on the tooth to protect it and restore it to full function.
Most people report that a root canal procedure is no more painful than having a filling placed or replaced. You may feel some discomfort or sensitivity which may be controlled with over the counter pain medications. Most patients can return to their normal activities the following day.
Continue with your oral dental health of brushing, flossing, and use an antiseptic mouthwash as you regularly would and see your dentist at normally scheduled intervals.