If you have been told that you need a root canal, you might be feeling a little lost thinking of the pain you anticipate to experience during the procedure. This article has a lot of information concerning the same so that you get enlightened on what to expect.
Why is it Called a Root Canal?
A root canal is a term which has two meanings. Some people use it to describe the procedure for treating a bacterial infection or inflammation deep inside a tooth. It always refers to the name of that part of the tooth which is narrow, hollow, and runs from the root tip to a central space in the tooth center which is called the pulp chamber.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is used to save and repair the tooth which has become infected or is badly decayed. During a procedure for the root canal, the pulp and the nerve are normally removed and the tooth inside is cleaned and sealed. If left without the treatment, then the tooth and the tissue which is surrounding it will become infected and it might form abscesses.
The nerve of the tooth is not very important to the health of the tooth and its function immediately after the tooth has come through the gum. It only functions as a sensor to sense cold or hot things in the mouth. Its absence or presence is not going to affect the day to day functioning of the tooth.
Why Do You Have to Remove the Tooth Pulp?
When the pulp of the tooth or its nerve is damaged, it normally tends to break down and allows bacteria to multiply within the chamber of the pulp. Decayed debris plus the bacteria are capable of causing an abscessed tooth or infection. An abscess refers to a pus-filled pocket which normally forms at the root of the tooth. It occurs when the infection is able to spread all the way past the root ends of the tooth. Apart from the abscess, an infection in the tooth’s root canal is capable of causing:
- Swelling which might spread to the other areas of the neck, face, and
- Loss of bone around the root tip
- Drainage problem which might extend outward from the root. There is a possibility of a hole occurring through the tooth side with drainage that will go into the gums or through the cheek drainage that will end up affecting the skin.
What Causes The Damage To The Tooth Pulp and Nerve?
The pulp and nerve can easily become inflamed, irritated, and infected because of several procedures of dental, decay that is deep, large fillings, chip or crack in the tooth, of facial trauma.
What are Signs that You need a Root Canal To Be Done?
The main thing you need to know is that not all tooth pains are an indicator that you need a root canal. The signs which are a true indicator that you have to go for this procedure include:
- Serious teeth pain whenever you put pressure on the area or when eating
- Sensitivity to things which are cold or hot and tooth pain which lingers after a stimuli that is hot or cold has already been removed
- A tiny swelling on the gum near the teeth area which is paining
- Tooth darkening
- Swelling or tenderness of the gums near the area which is paining.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
When you are planning for a root canal, remember that you might require to do one or two visits and it can either be performed by the endodontist or dentist. The endodontist refers to a specialist in the diagnosis, causes, treatment, and prevention of injuries and diseases of the dental pulp of human or the tooth nerve.
The choice of whom to use lies mostly on the degree of difficulty of the procedure of the root canal which is to be performed and the general knowledge of the dentist who is to work on your tooth. Your dentist will be able to tell you who is the right person to work on your particular case.
You will first need to take an X-ray to see how your particular root canal looks like and determine the depth of infection in the bone surrounding it. Your endodontist or dentist will then utilize local anesthesia to ensure that the area is numb. But in some cases, anesthesia might not be necessary since the nerve might already be dead. Most dentists prefer to use the anesthesia still to ensure that the patient is at ease and more relaxed.
To keep the area free from saliva and dry during the treatment, there is a rubber dam, which will be placed around the tooth. There will be an access hole which will be drilled into the tooth. The bacteria and the pulp, decayed nerve tissues and any other related debris will be removed from the tooth. Root canal files will be used to clean out the process. There will be a series of these files with increasing diameter, which is subsequently placed into the hole of access and worked down to the full length of the tooth to scrub and scrape the side of the root canal.