Root Canal Procedure

root canal procedure

Root Canal Procedure

What Is a Root Canal?

Do you need a root canal to save your tooth? Are root canals painful? You don't have to dread getting this procedure done. With the help of numbing medicine, you shouldn't have any severe pain. You do have to take good care of your mouth after the treatment, and you may experience some post-procedure discomfort, but nothing that an over the counter pain reliever could not ease. You can take the worry and fear out of the equation by focusing on turning your oral health around. The term “root canal” can refer to both the inner part (passages) of the tooth between the pulp and tooth roots, and to the dental procedure used to remove infected material and relieve root canal pain. The root canals contain nerves and blood vessels. Once an adult tooth has emerged from the gums, the tooth’s nerve doesn’t serve a specific purpose other than sensing heat, cold, and other stimuli. Removing a nerve in an infected tooth is part of a standard procedure to treat teeth pain caused by decay or infection in the tooth pulp.

Before root canal:

Before: We have developed the following list to assist you as you prepare for your root canal appointment:Please ensure that you have your current insurance information before your appointment.
Pre-medicate, if you normally do, before dental appointments.
Eat regular meals before your appointment, unless having I.V. sedation.
If you are given X-rays or a referral card by your general dentist, please bring them to your appointment.
Please contact our office for any questions about payment requirements before your appointment.
You can save additional time by filling out our patient registration form before your appointment.

Root Canal Procedure and Treatment Steps

A root canal is a multi-step dental procedure that involves removing the infected tooth pulp (and sometimes the nerve) from a tooth, and sealing it to protect against future teeth pain.

Here’s what you can expect when you have a root canal procedure to relieve root canal pain:

  • Setting the Scene:Your dental professional will take an x-ray to determine the extent of the infection.
  • Numbing Up: The first step in the actual procedure is a local anesthetic to numb the area and prevent teeth pain during the procedure. You will receive a local anesthetic to make you more comfortable, and a sheet of rubber called a “rubber dam” will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry.
  • Diving In:Next, your dentist or endodontist will drill an access hole into the tooth and use special tools to remove the damaged nerve and pulp tissue.
  • Closing Out:Once the infected material is removed, your dentist will either seal the tooth on the same day, or put in a temporary filling to protect you from root canal pain until a customized crown is ready. Sealing the tooth involves placement of a rubber compound into the root canal where the decayed material was removed. A filling is placed over the access hole.
  • Finishing Up:A crown, filling, or other tooth restoration completes the process of relieving your root canal pain. In some cases, your dentist may leave the tooth open so additional material can drain out of the tooth before it is filled and sealed. Some dentists will put a temporary filling in the tooth to protect the area while the infected material drains away completely. Many people who have undergone the procedure say it is no worse than having a cavity filled.

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How root canal treatment is done

To treat the infection in the root canal, the bacteria need to be removed.
This can be done by either:
removing the bacteria from the root canal system (root canal treatment)
removing the tooth (extraction)
But removing the tooth is not usually recommended as it's better to keep as many of your natural teeth as possible.
After the bacteria have been removed, the root canal is filled and the tooth sealed with a filling or crown.
In most cases the inflamed tissue near the tooth will heal naturally.
Before having root canal treatment, you'll usually be given a local anaesthetic.
This means the procedure should be painless and no more unpleasant than having a filling.
Root canal treatment is usually successful. In about 9 out of 10 cases a tooth can survive for up to 10 years after root canal treatment.
Find out how root canal treatment is done

Why it's needed

The infection at the centre of a tooth (the root canal) is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and invade the tooth.
This can happen after:
tooth decay
leaky fillings
damage to teeth as a result of trauma, such as a fall

 Recovering from root canal treatment

It's important to look after your teeth when recovering from root canal treatment.
You should avoid biting on hard foods until your treatment is complete.
After your final treatment, your restored tooth should no longer be painful, although it may feel sensitive for a few days.
You can take over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to relieve any discomfort.
Return to your dentist if you still have pain or swelling after using painkillers.
In most cases it's possible to prevent the need for further root canal treatment by:
keeping your teeth clean
not eating too much sugary food
giving up smoking if you smoke
Find out more about dental health

Risks of a root canal

Sometimes, however, the damage is too deep or the enamel is too frail to withstand the procedure. These factors can lead to loss of the tooth. Another risk is developing an abscess at the root of the tooth if some of the infected material remains behind or if the antibiotics aren't effective

10 common question about root canal procedure

1How painful is a root canal?
Most people associate having a root canal with a lot of pain and discomfort. However, while most people can expect some discomfort during and after a root canal procedure, excessive pain is not normal. ... A root canal will treat the diseased tissue (pulp) while preserving the rest of the tooth.
2How long does it take to get a root canal?
Patients are often curious how long a root canal takes to finish. They can generally expect one or two appointments of about 90 minutes each. An endodontist, and some general dentists, will often perform root canal treatment using a microscope that attaches to the wall and hangs over the patient's mouth.
3Do root canals cause health problems?
Root canal therapy is not the cause of cancer or heart attacks. Root canals do not leave areas of necrotic bone in your jaw that are filled with bacteria and lead to chronic inflammation and illness.
4Why root canal is dangerous?
The root canal and cancer myth Price believed, based on his personal research, that dead teeth that have undergone root canal therapy still harbor incredibly harmful toxins. According to him, these toxins act as breeding ground for cancer, arthritis, heart disease, and other conditions.
5Why does my root canal smell?
Patients that have a root canal infection often have chronic bad breath. ... The bacteria that cause root canal infections emit a foul odor. As a result, patients often experience bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth.
6Is it better to get a root canal or tooth extraction?
Between a root canal and a tooth extraction, a root canal is often the preferred choice because it works on fixing your natural tooth so that it could remain in place. ... If a tooth is far too compromised, your dentist might recommend an extraction, followed by a dental implant to replace what was lost.
7Can I drive after a root canal?
Here's What to Expect After Your Root Canal Treatment Unless you've had some type of sedation, you will be fine to drive home after your treatment. ... For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure.
8Are you put to sleep for a root canal?
Your dentist or endodontist will then use local anesthesia to numb the area near the tooth. Anesthesia may not be necessary, since the nerve is dead, but most dentists still anesthetize the area to make the patient more relaxed and at ease.
9What happens if you don't get a root canal?
If you don't get Root Canal Treatment then it can lead to much more severe consequences that can be life threatening. The infection in the root of the tooth can spread to the jaw bone and then into the surrounding tissue. This can lead to a swelling of the face and surrounding tissue and space.
10What are the signs that a root canal is needed?
What Are the Signs That Root Canal Therapy Is Needed? Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure. Prolonged sensitivity (pain) to hot or cold temperatures (after the heat or cold has been removed) Discoloration (darkening) of the tooth. Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums.


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