Bacteria can penetrate the pulp of a tooth and create an infection. When this happens, root canal therapy is required to preserve the tooth. The infected pulp is removed during this surgery, and the tooth is sealed to avoid reinfection. To learn more, you can consult Dr. Mariusz Borowicz, DDS.
What is a root canal?
Root canal therapy is a dental operation that alleviates discomfort caused by an abscessed or infected tooth. During the root canal surgery, the inflammatory pulp is removed. After cleaning and disinfecting the internal surfaces of the tooth, a filling is put in to close the area.
The process of a root canal treatment
Before conducting a root canal, your dentist will obtain dental X-rays of the affected tooth. This helps to identify the extent of the damage and assures that root canal therapy is the best treatment option. The following stages will be conducted during your root canal procedure:
To begin, a local anesthetic is applied to the affected tooth and surrounding tissues to numb them. Oral sedatives, nitrous oxide, and intravenous (IV) sedation are also utilized in dentistry to help you relax. If you have dental anxiety, your doctor may recommend sedation.
- Placement of the dental dam
Before starting root canal therapy, a little rubber dam is placed over the affected area. This separates the tooth and keeps it dry during the procedure.
- Access hole
The pulp is then accessible by a small incision in the crown of the tooth.
- Pulp removal
Using small dental devices, the blood vessels, nerves, and tissues inside the tooth are removed.
- Shaping the canals
After extracting the pulp, the root canals and pulp chamber are cleaned, disinfected, and shaped.
- Filling the canals
Gutta-percha, a flexible, rubbery dental material, is used to fill empty canals.
- Tooth sealing
To prevent bacteria from re-entering, the tooth is sealed with a temporary dental filling thereafter.
- Placing the final restoration
A dental crown is usually necessary to restore your bite and protect the treated tooth. Crowns are made to order and take around two to three weeks to finish. The temporary filling is removed and the permanent crown is fitted after your crown is done. You may be able to acquire a crown during the same visit in some cases.
What to expect after a root canal treatment
While you should not suffer significant pain after a root canal, you may notice sensitivity for the first few days. These typical symptoms can be effectively handled with over-the-counter or prescription pain medicines. After one to two weeks, the adverse effects normally go away.