Root canal therapy
Root canal treatment is not as horrible as you think
What is root canal?
Root canal is the space within the root of the tooth. This space within the root of the tooth consists of the pulp chamber, the main canals and the complex anatomical branches.
Human teeth have one to four root canals. This depends on the anatomy of the tooth; molars, for example have two to four canals, premolars have one to two root canals, and incisors usually have one canal.
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment (also called endodontics) is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (known as the pulp) is infected through decay or injury. You may not feel any pain in the early stages of the infection. In some cases, your tooth could darken in colour which may mean that the nerve of the tooth has died (or is dying). This would need root canal treatment.
Why is root canal treatment needed?
Tooth decay can be very severe and after damaging the tooth enamel, it can start affecting the inner structures of the tooth and eventually the pulp. When the pulp is infected by the tooth decay, it can cause excruciating pain and throbbing. Removing the pulp from the tooth to give relief to the patient from the pain is the only option left for the dental expert in such situations.
When a tooth becomes damaged, fractured, chipped or broken due to physical trauma,? the inner nerves of the tooth become easily exposed, this condition can then be very painful for the patient. Since the tooth will not grow back? the pulp of the tooth can be removed, leaving the tooth as it is, but without feeling or pain.
Sometimes a tooth might be dying slowly. This can be due to old age or due to physical trauma which did not require an endodontic treatment at the time of the trauma. In this situation, root canal treatment can be performed as well.
Does it hurt?
No. A local anaesthetic is used and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done.
What does it involve?
The root canal treatment involves a number of procedures. First of all, the tooth in question would be numbed by applying local anesthesia. This would make the root canal treatment painless for the patient. After applying the local anesthesia, the following procedures would be performed:
An x-ray would be taken of the tooth. This x-ray is referred to by the dental expert during the procedure.
A rubber dam is placed in the mouth so that the area of treatment remains free of saliva and completely dry. This rubber dam is made up of latex or non-latex materials. It also effectively prevents the other chemical solutions used by the dentist during the treatment to enter the mouth.
Tiny files are then used by the dentist to extract the nerve from the tooth. Sometimes, the dentist might require another x-ray at this point to determine the length of the root. The entire nerve and pulp tissue should be removed properly otherwise it can cause infection and? toothache later, and in such situations, the tooth would have to be extracted or retreated.
After removing the pulp tissue completely, a filling would be used to fill the space created. This filling is most usually gutta percha. This is a kind of rubber material which is used widely for sealing the inside of the tooth.
Usually, the dentist also places a dental crown on the particular tooth. This is done because the tooth becomes brittle over time, since the tooth lacks blood and nerve supply, and this can crack the tooth. The dental crown prevents the cracking of the tooth later on.