Eliminating the bacteria from an infected root canal is the goal of a root canal treatment. During a root canal, the dentist will remove the infected or inflamed pulp from within the tooth before it is carefully cleaned, disinfected, and sealed with a filling.
Root canal causes can vary between individuals and could range from the nerve and pulp of the tooth becoming irritated, inflamed, or infected because of deep decay. You may have had repeated dental procedures on the tooth and/or large fillings. A crack or chip in the tooth or any trauma to the face can also lead to a root canal. If you have been suggested a root canal treatment, you may have considered looking for alternatives to avoid the treatment.
Unfortunately, the only alternative available to you would be to have the tooth extracted and replaced with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture. These options are more expensive than a root canal. In addition, you will spend more time at the dentist’s office to have the tooth replaced.
You should not be concerned about the procedure because millions of patients who undergo this therapy every year find relief from the pain they experienced.
The soft tissue known as the pulp lies inside the tooth and beneath the white enamel and a hard layer called dentin. This tissue is home to the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue, which help to nourish the root of the tooth when it is developing. A fully developed tooth without any pulp can survive because it receives some nourishment from the tissues surrounding it.
Modern-day root canal treatment is unlike any myths you may have heard and is similar to a routine filling that can easily be completed in a single appointment. Undergoing a root canal is extremely effective while being relatively painless. You will be back to your chewing, biting, and smiling self with ease.
The dentist will initially take an x-ray of the tooth to view the shape of the root canals and determine whether any signs of infection exist in the surrounding bone. The dentist will provide you local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth before placing a rubber dam around the tooth to keep the area free from saliva during your treatment.
A small access hole will be drilled into the tooth to remove the pulp, bacteria, and decayed nerve tissue, along with any debris remaining. This process is accomplished with the help of root canal files. Files of different diameters will be placed into the access hole to work down the entire length of the tooth to scrape and scrub the sides of the canal. The debris in your tooth will be flushed away with water or sodium hypochlorite.
Our root canal dentist in Merritt Island prefers to wait for a week after the tooth is cleaned for it to be sealed. This is to ensure that any infection remaining behind is treated with medications, while some dentists may prefer to seal the tooth immediately after it has been cleaned. If the procedure is not completed on the same day, a temporary filling will be placed on the access hole in the tooth to keep contaminants, saliva, and food out between appointments.
During the next appointment, the interior of the tooth will be filled with a rubber compound called gutta-percha. The access hole drilled to clean the root canal will also be filled. The final step would be to place a crown over the tooth for protection as it is more brittle after the treatment and prone to cracks and fractures.
Root canal therapy has acquired a notorious reputation as being painful and uncomfortable. However, if you decide to undergo the treatment from Dr. Martin Megregian at Your Family Dental, you can rest assured that the treatment is not as painful or fearful as the reputation it has acquired.