Root Canal Treatment
The term “root canal” refers to natural spaces found within the center of each tooth. The root canal contains the nerves of the tooth. If the dental pulp within your tooth becomes damaged, it can cause significant inflammation, and the resulting pressure upon the nerves results in intense pain. The standard treatment for this condition is root canal therapy.
Bacteria and decayed food particles can lead to a tooth infection. This can further cause swelling spreading beyond the teeth to other parts of the face, head or neck. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, there is a chance that you may need root canal treatment:
Swelling or tenderness in the lymph nodes
Root Canal Treatment
Your dentist performs root canals to repair or save infected teeth that have been badly damaged. They carry out the procedure by removing damaged parts of teeth, which involves the removal of the dental pulp. They then clean and disinfect the area before filling and sealing it.
In most cases, a patient who underwent a root canal would return later to have a dental crown placed on the treated tooth. This provides protection for the treated tooth, as it will have been somewhat weakened by undergoing a root canal treatment.
What To Expect
If you need root canal treatment, it would be performed in the following steps:
1. Your dentist will numb the area and provide you with local anesthesia so that you are completely comfortable during the root canal treatment. They would then put a rubber sheet around the tooth to keep it dry.
2. Your dentist will drill a hole in the tooth to access the area of the root canals. Along the way, they will remove decayed and infected material and debris. Periodically, they will flush away the debris with a rinse.
3. After completely cleaning the area, your dentist will seal it. They may also pack some medicine into the area before sealing it. Your dentist would later place a permanent filling made of something called gutta-percha, which is an inert material that will not react to your mouth or soft tissues.
4. Finally, your dentist would likely place a dental crown on top of the treated tooth to protect it from breaking. Crowns also ensure that the treated tooth regains full functionality.
Root Canal Treatment Aftercare
After your root canal procedure, be sure to take all medications that were prescribed by your dentist as directed. Continue to regularly brush and floss your teeth.
Avoid eating or drinking for two or three hours after your root canal. The reason is that the area will still be somewhat numb, and you don’t want to accidentally bite down on your teeth or tongue without detecting it. You may also want to avoid eating hard and crunchy foods for a few days after your root canal treatment.