Root Canal Treatment
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment repairs and saves a badly damaged or infected tooth. The term ‘root canal’ comes from cleaning of the canals inside a tooth’s root.
When a tooth is cracked or develops deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp. The bacteria and decaying material stuck in the tooth may cause a serious infection or a tooth abscess if left untreated, leading to pulp death, bone loss and loss of the tooth itself.
Signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms to look out for if you require root canal treatment may include swelling around your face and neck, a hole in your tooth, toothache or tooth pain, gum swelling, pain that increases on lying down and temperature sensitivity, especially to hot.
Root Canal Steps
The root canal usually takes one to three visits depending upon the amount of infection.
First, you have dental X-rays to check the extent of damage. You also receive a local anesthetic to control pain. Decay is removed, and an opening is made through the crown of the tooth to gain access to the pulp chamber. Using small dental instruments, the infected or diseased pulp is removed.
After the diseased pulp is removed, the pulp chamber and root canals are flushed and cleaned. The root canals may be reshaped and enlarged to allow better access for filling later. Before permanently filling the root canals, they should be clean of all infection and dried.
Medication is sometimes put into the pulp chamber and root canal to clear any infection. If infection has spread beyond the tooth, you may need a prescription for antibiotics. If the root canal requires multiple visits, a temporary filling is placed in the crown to protect the tooth and keep out debris and saliva. Avoid biting or chewing on the tooth until it’s been treated and restored.
The final stage of the root canal is restoring your tooth. Because the tooth typically has a large filling or is weakened from extensive decay, it needs to be protected from future damage and returned to normal function. This is usually done by placing a crown — a realistic-looking artificial tooth. A crown is made of gold, porcelain or porcelain fused to metal. It can be tinted to match the exact color of your other teeth. Sometimes, a metal post must first be inserted in the tooth for structural support and to keep the crown in place.
The goal of root canal treatment is to save a tooth that might otherwise require extraction. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth may become severely infected and abscesses may form.
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