Root canals are a procedure that is used to fix badly infected or damaged teeth to prevent it from being removed and replaced.
A tooth can be saved if the decayed part of the tooth, called the pulp, is removed. The tooth is then cleaned and disinfected before being filled and sealed.
A tooth’s pulp is susceptible to infection if dental decay is left untreated. Whether it’s caused by cavities, a loose filling or a cracked/broken tooth, bacteria can infect the tooth’s root and pulp causing severe oral complications.
When is a root canal necessary?
Root canals are necessary when digital X-rays show that a tooth’s root, including the nerve and pulp, is infected with bacteria. A root canal is also necessary when the pulp chamber is exposed due to trauma (i.e. suffering a broken tooth). If the bacterial infection is left untreated, it can spread throughout your mouth and potentially cause severe damage to your teeth and tongue.
The pain experienced by someone suffering from an infected pulp can be intense, especially when the person chews food or drinks hot or cold liquids.
By removing the damaged pulp, cleaning the tooth’s root, filling it and sealing it, the pain and swelling will cease and you’ll be able to smile and function as normal once again.
What are the signs of a pulp infection?
A loose tooth or teeth
Pain while chewing
Sensitivity to hot and cold foods/drinks
Who is the right candidate for root canal therapy?
Someone with a badly damaged or decayed tooth
A patient with a pulp or nerve infection
Anyone with an abscessed tooth
What are the benefits of root canals?
Keeping your natural teeth is always preferable to removing and replacing them with dental implants or dental bridges. Root canals help preserve your natural teeth by removing the infected pulp and preventing the spread of the bacterial infection to the rest of your mouth.
What happens during a root canal procedure?
During root canals, dentists surgically remove the infected pulp (called a pulpectomy) from the roots and nerves of teeth, before cleaning, filling and sealing them.
A dental drill is used to take out the infected nerve and pulp, which is why local anesthesia is administered during root canal therapy.
If more than one dental visit is required for the procedure, which is often the case, a temporary filling is placed in the tooth to protect it.
The last step of most root canals is the placement of a dental crown over the affected tooth to restore its original appearance and protect it.
How do you care for your root canal?
Proper oral hygiene is the best way to care for your root canal! Remember to floss and brush your teeth three times per day! Furthermore, remember to use mouthwash daily. Avoid hard foods and ice and don’t forget to schedule regular dental cleanings and dental exams and don’t forget to schedule regular dental cleanings and dental exams.
How long does a root canal last?
A tooth that’s been restored due to a root canal treatment can last the rest of one’s life if cared for properly.