Root Canal Therapy

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Root canal therapy becomes necessary when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. This procedure aims to save the tooth by removing the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay. Once the affected tissue is removed, the space is filled with special medicated dental materials to restore the tooth’s function.

Opting for a root canal is often the preferred treatment to preserve a tooth that would otherwise deteriorate and require extraction. While some patients may consider tooth extraction as a solution to dental problems, it’s important to understand that removing a tooth can lead to more significant issues and higher costs in the long run, especially for adjacent teeth.

Root canal treatment is typically highly successful and can last a lifetime. However, in some cases, a tooth may require retreatment if new infections occur.

Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:

  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold.
  • Severe toothache pain.
  • Sometimes no symptoms are present.
  • Swelling and/or tenderness.

Reasons for Root Canal Therapy:

  • Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
  • Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth.

What does root canal therapy involve?

Root Canal Treatment

A root canal procedure typically involves one or more appointments and can be conducted by either a dentist or an endodontist, who is a specialist in root canal treatment.

During the procedure, while the tooth is numbed, a rubber dam is placed around it to keep it dry and free of saliva. An access opening is then made on top of the tooth, and a series of root canal files are used to remove the pulp, nerve tissue, and any bacteria present. If there is decay, it will also be removed using specialized dental instruments.

Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it may be sealed with either a permanent filling or a temporary filling, depending on the need for additional appointments.

At a subsequent appointment, typically scheduled a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth are filled and sealed using special dental materials. A filling is placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. Additionally, it is recommended to have a crown (cap) placed on the treated tooth to protect it from breaking and restore its full function.

After the treatment, some sensitivity in the tooth may persist, but it will gradually subside as inflammation decreases and the tooth heals.

Following each appointment, you will receive care instructions. Practicing good oral hygiene and attending regular dental visits are essential to maintain the success of your root canal treatment.