A root canal is a dental treatment procedure that involves the removal of the infected tooth pulp from a tooth and then sealing back the area to protect it from further damage and pain in the future. In some cases, root canal may also involve the removal of the tooth nerves along with the pulp.
The word “root canal” is used to refer to the actual passage between the pulp and the roots of a tooth. It is the area which contains blood vessels and nerves. After an adult tooth develops, there is no specific purpose of the nerves within them, other than sensing cold, heat or other stimuli. Hence, removal of nerves of the infected tooth has become a regular procedure in treating pain caused by an infection or decay in the tooth pulp.
Infections in the tooth pulp have risk factors which include tooth decay, chips or cracks in the tooth, large fillings, etc.
Signs that call for a root canal treatment
There may be a number of reasons behind an aching tooth or other dental problems. Not all of them are serious, or require root canal treatment. Signs of infections that may call for a root canal treatment include the following:
- Severe pain in the teeth while eating something, or while pressing against the teeth
- Pain and sensitivity to hot and cold substances that persists even after the stimuli has been removed
- Discoloration of tooth
- Swelling or tenderness in the gums surrounding the infected tooth
- Small bumps on the gums near the infected tooth
How a root canal works
Step 1: Scoping out- To examine the degree of decay, your dentist will need to take x-rays of your tooth.
Step 2: Numbing your tooth- In this step, the area of gum is made numb by local anesthesia to prevent pain during the procedure
Step 3: Diving in- In this step, your dentist will make an incision, usually in the crown of the infected tooth, and make use of special tools to remove and clean out the pulp which has decayed.
Step 4: Cleaning up- Your dentist may either leave the incision open to let the additional substances drain out of the tooth before it is filled and sealed; or he may temporarily fill the tooth after the infected materials have drained away completely.
What’s done after a root canal You would be asked to visit back your doctor after few days or a week of your root canal treatment. During this time, the centre of your tooth would be filled with a special composite filling. A tooth that has undergone a root canal treatment is usually required to undergo crowning or any other kind of tooth restoration technique, to protect the remaining part of the tooth, and safeguard it against any future damage or decay.
Preventing tooth pain after a root canal It’s quite common for everyone to experience tooth pain or sensitivity after undergoing a root canal treatment. Make sure that you follow the prescribed oral care routine that has been suggested to you by your dentist, to take care of your crown and prevent future tooth pain.
If you are suffering from any of the dental problems, you must visit the doctor soon.
For further queries relating to any other dental problems or related dental treatment, you may refer to a dentist and get your dental problems solved.