Root Canal Treatment is the field of dentistry concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the dental pulp/nerve. Years ago, teeth with diseased or injured pulps were extracted. Today, root canal treatment gives dentists/endodontists a safe and effective means of saving your teeth.
Inside each tooth is the pulp which provides nutrients and nerves to the tooth, it runs like a thread down through the root. When the pulp is diseased or injured, the pulp tissue dies. If you don't remove it, your tooth gets infected and you could lose it. A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. Root canal procedures are performed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful. Actually, most people report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed. The discomfort experienced in the period leading up to a seeking of dental care is truly the painful period of time, not the root canal procedure itself. After the dentist removes the pulp, the root canal is cleaned and sealed off to protect it. Then our reconstructive dentist places a crown over the tooth to help make it stronger.
Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile!
Treatment often involves from one to three visits. During treatment, our endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems of the pulp) removes the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are then cleaned and sealed. Here's how your tooth is saved through treatment:
Your restored tooth could last a lifetime, if you continue to care for your teeth and gums. However, regular checkups are necessary. As long as the root(s) of a treated tooth are nourished by the tissues around it, your tooth will remain healthy.
The root canal procedure should relieve the pain you feel. Until your root canal procedure is completely finished – that is to say, the permanent filling is in place and/or the crown is place, it's wise to minimize chewing on the tooth under repair. This step will help avoid recontamination of the interior of the tooth and also may prevent a fragile tooth from breaking before the tooth can be fully restored. For the first few days following the completion of treatment, the tooth may feel sensitive due to natural tissue inflammation, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This sensitivity or discomfort usually can be controlled with over-the-counter analgesics such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or naproxen. Most patients can return to their normal activities the next day.
As far as oral health care is concerned, brush and floss as you regularly would and see your dentist at normally scheduled intervals. Because the final step of the root canal procedure is application of a restoration such as a crown or a filling, it will not be obvious to onlookers that a root canal was performed. Root canal treatment is highly successful; the procedure has more than a 95% success rate. Many teeth fixed with a root canal can last a lifetime.