Root Canal Treatment: Overview

Our roots serve as the connective part between our teeth and the jaw bone. The front teeth have a single root with two being in the premolars along with the lower molars while three being in the upper molars. Root canals are basically tiny tubes present in the middle region of your roots.

Pulp, present in the root, is composed of blood vessels that are responsible for keeping the tooth alive. A serious infection in the pulp requires root canal treatment. Usually, this infection results from cavities that are left untreated or other dental problems including trauma and cracked dental fillings. During the treatment, the infected pulp is removed and a special substance is used to replace it for the prevention of infection.

After the treatment is completed, cosmetic preservation of the tooth brings the affected tooth back to life.

Root Canal Treatment: Causes

You may need a root canal treatment, if you have any of the following:

  1. Teeth that are cracked or broken
  2. Cavities that are extremely deep and cause pain
  3. A serious tooth injury like a knocked out tooth or tooth trauma

If the pulp has infection or if the treatment isn’t given on time, accumulation of pus at the root tip can lead to abscess, which is even worse and more painful.

Root Canal Treatment: The Procedure

If your dentist has recommended a root canal treatment for you, it should be noted that it’s a lengthy procedure and may require multiple visits.

Generally, dentists prescribe certain antibiotics before actually performing the procedure. This helps in reducing the pain or inflammation that results from the infection. An X-ray will then be performed for discovering the length as well as the layout of your roots that have been affected. Later, the top of the tooth will be drilled for accessing the root canal. Usually, anesthesia is used for this purpose but in the case of a dead tooth, anesthesia isn’t needed.

Later, the pulp will be removed with the canals being widened for ensuring a proper dental filling. This procedure may need more than two hours or a number of short sessions for completion. The dental expert will then thoroughly clean the root canal with the help of an anti-septic.  An inert substance is used for protecting the root canal from infections in the future. Temporary fillings are then put in place for protecting the tooth unless it is confirmed that the infection has been fully treated. Since the dead tooth tends to be more brittle, it is typically capped with a crown for extra strength. The whole process could take a couple of weeks.