Root Canal Therapy
A root canal is an endodontic treatment, which is the process of removing a tooth’s pulp in order to remove and prevent infection. The soft pulp of the tooth is made up of thread-like tissue which detects things like temperature, trauma to the tooth, and pressure, as well as protects it from bacteria by providing it with nutrients. Essentially, the pulp serves as the nerve of the tooth.
Why do I need a root canal?
Some reasons for needing a root canal include fractures, trauma or abscess.
Fracture: With a deep fracture in a tooth, the pulp is exposed and does not have enough structure above the gum. A root canal is performed to help establish restoration in the tooth.
Trauma: If the tooth suffers from impact or a large amount of pressure, the nerve could become disconnected, which then causes the tooth to die over time or even immediately.
Abscess: If you’re feeling a throbbing pain in your tooth, it could be because your tooth has abscessed. The pain originates from the inside of the tooth and moves down to the root. The tooth will lose its ability to protect itself and an abscess will form, causing the pulp of the tooth to become infected.
How is root canal therapy performed?
With a small opening in the tooth, dentists will remove the infected pulp, clean the and enlarge the root canal, preparing it for filling. Next, dentists use a rubber filling material called gutta-percha, and seal the tooth with cement. Sometimes dentists will have to use a metal or plastic rod within the canal for structural support.
The process of getting a root canal can last anywhere between 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on whether you’re receiving a permanent or temporary filling, as well as what tooth is being worked on.
Does getting a root canal hurt?
Fortunately in this day in age the process of root canal therapy is similar to having a routine filling, patients can anticipate a comfortable experience.
What to expect after root canal therapy
It’s important to avoid chewing with the treated tooth after a root canal for a period of time. Brush and floss as normal and with patience and good practice, your tooth will soon start to feel normal.