Procedure

Root Canal- Dentistry

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What is root canal?

Root canal is a term that refers to the cleaning of the canals inside a tooth’s root. It is also a procedure to repair and save infected and damaged teeth. A long time ago, this was very painful; however, due to advanced technologies and dental materials like local anesthesia, root canal treatment is now more tolerable.  

We all know that suffering from decayed and damage tooth is agonizing. The alternatives for root canal treatment may include tooth extraction and replacing it with a dental implant, bridge or removable partial denture.

Root canal treatment can be done in four ways and over two clinic visits.

First, anesthesia is needed to numb the tooth and its surroundings. The endodontist will place a dental dam to keep your tooth dry and clean during the entire procedure.

A small dental drill will also be used to create an opening at the top area of the tooth. Next, small files will help your dentist clear out the damaged and infected pulp from the insides of the tooth. Files will also be used to shape the inner chamber of the root and tooth. The remaining pulp will be washed away by gargling water. An antimicrobial solution will also be given by your doctor to kill any bacteria and reduce the possible risk of infection.

After it is thoroughly cleaned, your doctor will fill it with gutta percha, a rubber like material. A temporary filing will be used by your dentist to close the opening of the tooth while waiting for a permanent crown.

A small supporting post will be placed inside the root chamber to make the tooth restoration more stable and strong. It is often done by your dentist after a few weeks.

Why Is A Root Canal Required?

This procedure is done when there is an infection located in the deep area of the tooth. The pulp will become infected by bacteria if the cavity is untreated and severe. The tooth will be permanently removed if infection becomes severe and if it is not treated immediately.

Which Doctor to Consult?

A dentist or an endodontist will do root canal treatment. They will explain you about the procedure, the risks, and after care.

Post-operative care

The teeth and gums must be cleaned and maintained after a root canal treatment to avoid infection. Good oral hygiene is needed at home, especially brushing, flossing and mouth washing. Also, you have to visit your dentist for a tooth exam for at least twice a month.

Wait for the tooth to completely heal before trying to chew, to avoid it from breaking.

Complications

Expect an infection after a root canal treatment if:

  • There are more than the anticipated number of root canals in a tooth (leaving one of them uncleaned)
  • There is undetected root damage
  • A damaged or lacking dental restoration that has enabled bacteria to move beyond the restoration into the internal parts of the tooth and to recontaminate the area
  • A breakdown of the inner sealing material over time, allowing bacteria to recontaminate the inner aspects of the tooth

Ask your doctor about your risks.

To learn more about Root Canal, please check our blog on WHEN SHOULD YOU OPT FOR A ROOT CANAL TREATMENT, AND WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE PROCEDURE?.

References

  • Slide show: Root canal treatment. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tooth-abscess/multimedia/root-canal/sls-20076717?s=2/
  • WebMD (2019). Get the Facts on Root Canals. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-root-canals
  • What Is a Root Canal? A Step-by-Step Guide. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/procedures/root-canals/illustrations-root-canal-treatment-from-start-to-finish/
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