A root canal is a process to save a badly damaged tooth by removing the infected pulp, cleaning and filling it and finally, sealing it to prevent bacteria from entering.
What are symptoms of needing a root canal?
- A toothache is the most common symptom indicating a problem exists. The tooth may start to ache out of no where, even when the tooth is not being utilized for eating or drinking. The pain can progress into a headache that may cause the person to forget how the pain began. Woah.
- Once the tooth is dead, the patient will feel pain when any pressure is applied to the infected tooth.
- If the tooth has abscessed there may be inflammation or bleeding around the tooth, even causing your tongue and cheeks to swell.
What are the starting points of a root canal?
Cavities, or tooth decay, or holes in the tooth where bacteria and plaque have eroded the outer layer, enamel of your tooth. When the cavity deepens and reaches the root and the bacteria damages the root, you need a root canal. Even a chipped tooth can cause the root to die. This may happen immediately or years later requiring a root canal procedure.
The Procedure Broken Down into 6 Easy Steps
1. X-Ray and Diagnosis
Root canal therapy may require more than one office visit. An Endodontist, a dentist who specializes in the nerves of teeth, may be needed depending on the difficulty and stage of infection. Once an X-ray is performed, the shape of the root canals can be viewed. From there, your dentist can determine if there are any signs of infection in the surrounding bone.
- Numbing the area around the tooth
Since root canals are dealing with the root, aka nerves of the tooth – your Dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area near the tooth.
- Clearing out the root
An access hole will then be drilled into the tooth to remove the pulp, along with bacteria and the decayed nerve tissue.
- Flushing the canal of the root
Once the tooth is cleaned out water will be used to blast and flush away any debris.
- Sealing the tooth
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it needs to be sealed. Some dentists wait a week before sealing the tooth because antibiotics are needed to clear residual infection.
- Placing the crown on the tooth
The final step may involve further restoration of the tooth. A tooth that needs root canal therapy often is one that has a large filling, extensive decay or other weakness. A crown may be used to protect it, prevent it from breaking, and restore it to full function. Your dentist will discuss the need for any additional dental work with you