There is a huge chance that you have already heard of a root canal. If you are here, then, there is also a possibility that you are planning to schedule a root canal treatment in the near future.
Does it hurt? Is it really painful? How long will I recover?
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Such questions are the usual ones that many people ask when talking about this treatment. If you want to learn more about it, as well as find the answers to these usual queries, you have come to the right place.
What Is a Root Canal?
Technically, a root canal is not a procedure or a treatment. It is what you call the soft center of a tooth that houses the nerve tissue, blood vessels, and other cells. It is also called the “pulp.”
The pulp functions as a sensor for hot and cold temperatures. It also nourishes the tooth and provides moisture.
While this is the correct and proper definition of a root canal, it has already become a norm to call the procedure or treatment “root canal.” Nevertheless, the dental procedure’s actual and proper term is “endodontic therapy.” It means “inside the tooth.”
Root Canal Procedure
The procedure, as mentioned, is called endodontic therapy. The steps are pretty basic and easy. However, the entire process may be completed in one to three dental visits, depending on your case or your dentist.
Keep in mind that the procedure itself is not painful. The pain that any patient experiences during the treatment is usually caused by the infection or the severity of the condition.
Cleaning the root canal
The first thing that your dentist will do is remove everything inside the root canal. You will be under local anesthesia to allow the expert to do the entire process without you feeling too much pain.
The cleaning process is done by making a small access hole on the surface of the tooth. Through the hole, the dead and diseased pulp tissue will be removed using small files.
Filling the root canal
Once cleaned, the dentist will then clean, decontaminate, and shape the hollow area inside the tooth. This will be completed again by using tiny files, alongside irrigation solutions.
This will be followed by the actual filling of a rubber-like material. The dentist will also use adhesive cement to seal the canals effectively.
It is worth noting that the tooth will be dead after the procedure. Considering that the pulp is removed, you will no longer feel any pain as there is no longer a sensor.
But, despite this, the tooth will still function as it is, except making you feel pain when it senses extreme temperatures.
Adding a crown or filling
Given that the tooth no longer has a pulp, it will be more fragile because of the lack of nourishment. While the ligament that attaches the tooth to the bone provides adequate nourishment, it will become brittle as time passes by.
This is why endodontic therapy finishes with the adding of a crown or filling. Without this step, the tooth cannot be used for biting or chewing.
About The Root Canal Causes
There are several factors why a pulp becomes infected or diseased. These are the most usual reasons behind:
Deep decay due to an untreated cavity
An untreated cavity is one of the most common causes of an infected and diseased root canal. Time and time again, dentists and experts always remind people to resolve any dental issue as much as possible because it will worsen and may cause even more damage.
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In the case of cavities, it may lead to severe damaging of the pulp. As a result, you may end up having endodontic therapy or worse, an extraction.
Multiple dental procedures on the same tooth
A repeated dental procedure on the same tooth may cause damage, as well, on the root canal. Keep in mind that an endodontic therapy resolves not only a diseased and infected pulp but an irritated and inflamed pulp, too.
So, before making additional treatments and procedures in a tooth, ensure to let your dentist know.
A chip or crack in the tooth
A chipped or a cracked tooth may cause damage and irritation to the root canal, as well. Keep in mind that leaving them untreated may lead to cavities and infection.
When it spreads, the pulp will be easily infected, causing imminent damage to the root canal. When this happens, you will need endodontic therapy and treatment, as soon as possible.
An injury to the tooth
An injury to the tooth is also another common cause. This usually happens after experiencing an accident or injury, especially when the trauma is focused on the face and jaw.
A root canal therapy or treatment is a process to alleviate the pains of a diseased or infected pulp. The process itself is not painful, so you don’t need to fear it.
The main point of endodontic therapy is to save the tooth. It is worth noting that dental experts will always find ways to save a tooth before ending up with an extraction.
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