Do you have a severely damaged tooth? Are you suffering from tooth decay or infection? Luckily, root canals are available to repair or save your tooth. So, how does it work?
Inside of your tooth is pulp, which is soft tissue that contains blood vessels and nerves. This pulp also provides nourishment to your tooth. This pulp can become infected if you have:
A cracked or fractured tooth
A deep cavity
Repeated dental procedures that disturb tissue
Injury to the tooth (with no visible signs.)
If you leave issues untreated, the root of your tooth can become infected which results in pain, swelling or an abscess forming inside your tooth. If an infection occurs, you risk losing your tooth completely because of bacteria causing damage to the bone that connects your teeth to your jaw.
How do I get this treatment?
Ask your dentist about your options and they may refer you to a specialist known as an endodontist. Endodontists are specialized in the pulp and tissues surrounding your teeth.
How does it work?
Root canals usually takes one or two sessions and there is little to no pain. Local anesthesia is usually used during treatment.
During procedures your dentist will:
Take x-rays of your tooth and surrounding bone.
Numb the area around and including your tooth.
Create an opening at the top of your tooth.
Remove the tooth’s nerve from inside the tooth and in the root, known as the root canal.
Clean inside the tooth and each root canal.
Fill the root canal with a rubber-like material to prevent future infection.
Place a temporary filling on the tooth to protect it until definitive restoration.
After the procedure
You will feel sensitivity for a few days but your dental professional will give you tips to relieve discomfort. Antibiotics may be prescribed to you especially if you had an infection.
Follow up visits will be required so that the temporary filling on the tooth can be replaced with a regular filling or crown. This prevents further damage. A metal or plastic post may also be placed to support the filling or crown.