Of the many dental procedures and treatments that are offered for correcting oral issues, root canal treatment is one that sends most into a state of panic. Is it because it is excruciatingly painful to have done has been passed around for decades, or does the phrase root canal just not sound like a fun activity? Perhaps knowing what exactly is involved with a root canal, such as the why you would need one, and what occurs during the procedure will shed some light onto a not so scary treatment as once believed.
At The Root Of The Procedure
A tooth consists of more than just the exterior shell or enamel; it contains dentin, a pulp chamber, root canal, and nerves. When unexposed, the tooth will function normally, and be pain-free. However, once tooth decay starts to spread there becomes a problem. A decaying tooth will not stop its process; it will continue to grow larger, the only hope a person has to save their tooth, and prevent any pain associated is with a root canal procedure.
Endodontic treatment becomes necessary when the tooth decays, the pulp chamber is filled with diseased tissue, and the infection spreads to the root canal. A person who has an infected tooth will feel massive amounts of pressure and pain. In most cases, this pain is what brings them to the dentist for help.
Is Root Canal Therapy Painful?
Most associate a root canal procedure with the drilling of the access point and assume it will be excruciatingly painful. But much to your relief, are you sitting down? A root canal treatment isn’t painful. You may experience a pressure feeling, but because you will be under an anesthetic, you won’t feel much. In fact, the root canal treatment is designed to alleviate the pain, not cause more. Cosmetic dentist in Puyallup, SK Dental tells patients that after the procedure the gums may be a little tender, but over the counter medication typically is enough to alleviate any mild discomfort.
An Overview of the Root Canal Procedure
- Step 1: Local anesthetic is administered to the affected tooth and surrounding tissue. This will completely numb the area; the dentist will be working in.
- Step 2: A dental dam is placed, where the affected tooth will be exposed, while unaffected teeth are covered.
- Step 3: The dentist will then drill a tiny hole through the top of the tooth, or biting point, to gain access to the pulp chamber and root canal. This part may seem scary, but it won’t hurt.
- Step 4: The diseased tissue inside the pulp chamber and root canal are then removed. The dentist will use specialized instruments to clean out the affected tooth essentially. At this point in the procedure, your tooth will no longer have any sensations because the nerves located within, are also removed.
- Step 5: The tooth will need to be disinfected to prevent any infection. The canals will receive an antiseptic as well as an antibacterial solution.
- Step 6: Canals will be shaped to allow for a root canal filling and sealant to be applied. Cleansing the area will occurring again after the filling is in place and before the sealant is used.
- Step 7: A rubber-like material is generally selected for filling the root canal. This flexible material called a gutta percha is heated and compressed then pushed into place. An adhesive cement is then applied. This part is critical to the root canal procedure. Without the use of a proper sealant the tooth would be exposed and allow for bacteria to enter and infection to spread.
- Step 8: The access point will need to be filled as well after the root canal has received its filling/sealant. Your dentist may use a permanent or temporary filling depending on the situation. The dental dam can be removed, and the procedure will be over.
- Step 9: You will be given a course of antibiotics to take after the procedure has been concluded. It is vital that you follow all your dentists after procedure instructions for care and medication.
- Step 10: After you have finished the course of antibiotics, your dentist will want to fit your tooth with its permanent filling or crown. These will be used to help support the tooth, because of the loss of structure within. The dentist will determine which is the best course of treatment fillings or crown to provide long-lasting results, with minimal risks of bacteria entering the tooth.