A root canal treatment is known as an endodontic treatment, and it is performed to save your damaged tooth. Instead of having it permanently removed, your dentist could suggest a procedure that kills the nerves and saves the tooth altogether.
Beneath the tough enamel lies the pulp, which contains nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels. They nourish the teeth during their formative years. When your teeth are fully developed, the pulp is no longer necessary because the teeth will continue to receive their nourishment from the tissue surrounding them. Therefore, if the pulp is infected, it can be removed without exposing the tooth to any harm.
The Process of a Root Canal Treatment
When the pulp becomes infected, it could cause damage to the tooth. It could lead to its subsequent decay and could even cost you your tooth. Since the tooth’s survival does not depend on the pulp, you can have it removed and cleaned to restore its health.
Step 1: Examination
The dentist will have a look at the structure of your tooth to determine the extent of the damage. If gum disease is a cause of your infection, it could be near impossible to salvage your tooth. If your dentist clears you of any complication, they will administer local anesthesia to ensure your comfort during the process.
Step 2: Creating a Safe Environment
The tooth that is infected is separated from the healthy ones through a thin sheet of vinyl or rubber to prevent the bacteria in the saliva from getting in the way. This way, the inflamed tooth is set in a sterile environment.
Step 3: Drilling
The dentist will drill a small hole that will give them access to the infected pulp. The drilling is done on the chewing surface of your tooth to allow the dentist to remove and clean out the infection.
Step 4: Pulp Removal
The dead pulp is removed from the tooth and specialized equipment employed to clean out the area thoroughly. The process is not painful as the pulp is already dead. Once the nerves are removed, your tooth loses feeling but retains its effectiveness.
Step 5: Cleaning
The root canals are disinfected with antibacterial solutions. They are then prepared to receive the root canal fillers. They are washed for a second time to get rid any debris.
Step 6: Sealing
The canals are ready for filling and sealing. Gutta-percha, a rubber-like material is used for filling. The material is heated and fitted into the walls of the canals to seal them effectively. An adhesive called a sealer is paired with the gutta-percha to fill and seal the root canals as effectively as possible. Ineffective sealing could cause a bacterial infection in the canal.
The endodontist will fill the access hole and then prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection. The cases of infection post-treatment are minimal especially when you follow your endodontist’s instructions to the letter.
After the root canal procedure, you will need a crown or filling to make up for the lost structure and to seal the canals from infection. The endodontist will recommend that you have this done to avoid future infection to the new root canals. Your regular dentist could recommend the filling you need or whether a dental crown would suit better.
Regular visits to the dentist will let you know the status of your teeth and make it possible to catch any dental problem before it accelerates. If you find that your tooth is infected, there could be a better solution than having it permanently removed. Root canal treatment has worked effectively for years and is more preferred to tooth removal.