Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure used to treat infection at the center of a tooth. The term “root canal” comes from the cleaning of the canals inside a tooth’s root.
Why is root canal treatment necessary?
Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp, which is the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels, becomes infected or inflamed. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as:
- Deep decay
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- A large filling
- Repeated dental procedures on the same tooth
- Trauma to the tooth
When the pulp is infected or inflamed, it can cause pain, swelling, and sensitivity to heat and cold. If the infection is left untreated, it can spread to the surrounding bone and tissues, leading to an abscess.
How is root canal treatment performed?
Root canal treatment is usually performed in two or more appointments. During the first appointment, the dentist will numb the tooth with a local anesthetic and then place a rubber dam around the tooth to isolate it from the rest of the mouth. Next, the dentist will make a small opening in the top of the tooth and remove the infected pulp. The dentist will then clean and shape the root canals and place a temporary filling to seal the tooth.
During the second appointment, the dentist will remove the temporary filling and clean the root canals again. The dentist will then fill the root canals with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha and seal the tooth with a permanent filling. In some cases, the dentist may also place a crown on the tooth to protect it and restore its function.
What are the benefits of root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment has a number of benefits, including:
- It can relieve pain and inflammation caused by an infected or inflamed tooth.
- It can save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted.
- It can prevent the infection from spreading to the surrounding bone and tissues.
- It can restore the tooth to its original function and appearance.
Is root canal treatment painful?
Root canal treatment is not usually painful. The dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the tooth before and during the procedure. You may feel some discomfort after the procedure, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
What are the risks of root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is a very safe procedure, but there are some risks associated with it, including:
- Pain and inflammation after the procedure
- Damage to the tooth or surrounding teeth
- Failure of the root canal treatment
The risk of complications from root canal treatment is very low, and the benefits of the procedure usually outweigh the risks.
How long does a root canal last?
Root canal treatment can last for many years, but the lifespan of a root canal-treated tooth will vary depending on the individual. Some factors that can affect the lifespan of a root canal-treated tooth include the severity of the original infection, the quality of the root canal treatment, and the patient’s overall oral health.
Root canal treatment is a safe and effective way to save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted. If you are experiencing pain or inflammation in a tooth, it is important to see us to determine if root canal treatment is necessary.