Root Canal Therapy
Modern dentistry has improved the way we now perform root canals. There’s no need to cringe at the thought of having this procedure done. It is fast, effective and pain-free. What’s more, it provides a crucial role in your dental health, and that is saving your tooth from extraction when it becomes decayed or damaged.
The Root Canal Procedure
The pulp of the tooth located beneath the enamel and dentin, the protective layers of the tooth, can become infected or damaged due to a crack or injury. This soft tissue that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue develops the root of the tooth and, when compromised, can cause extreme pain that requires root canal therapy to clean out the infection and stop the pain.
The procedure includes 4 steps:
- X-rays: These are taken to see the shape of the root canals and look for signs of infection in the surrounding tissue.
- Drilling: For this step, the dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area. Then, a hole is drilled into the tooth to access the canal.
- Cleaning and disinfection: Using root canal files of increasing diameter, the pulp is removed and the canals cleaned and irrigated with a disinfectant solution. Medication is also applied to ensure all germs have been removed and to prevent future infection.
- Sealing: A sealer paste and rubber compound, called gutta-percha, is used to fill the tooth’s root canal. For the exterior, they use a filling. Depending on the individual case, the dentist may wait a few days for this step or perform it the same day. If the dentist decides to wait for a future appointment, a temporary filling is placed in the exterior hole to keep out saliva, food, and other contaminants.
Aftercare and Benefits
After a root canal treatment, the tooth may feel sensitive for the first few days because of the inflammation. To keep the discomfort under control, your dentist may prescribe pain medication.
In terms of oral health care, a regular routine consisting of brushing, flossing, and antiseptic mouthwash will do, as well as regular check-ups with your dentist, of course.
Often, when the treatment is done, further restoration may be needed. Depending on the damage, the tooth can require a crown or other dental pieces to protect it, reinforce it, and improve its functionality.
Root canal treatment disinfects, prevents reinfection, and saves your natural tooth in no time. With more than a 95% success rate, teeth fixed with this procedure can last a lifetime and make it possible for you to smile, eat, and chew through life with ease and confidence. If you have questions about this tooth-saving procedure, please call our Spotswood office to schedule a consultation today.