What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure to repair and save an injured or infected tooth and prevent future infection. The treatment includes removing the infected part of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and shaping it and thereafter filling and sealing it. The cause of pulp damage maybe tooth injury, a root cavity, recurring dental procedures, decay, or a broken tooth.
As per National Institute of Health, a dentist performs a root canal on your tooth to save it from underlying bacteria, microorganisms, endotoxins, and decayed or dead tissues in it.
Signs you need a root canal
Pressure on tooth causes immense pain
Recurring tooth and gum pain
Huge visible tooth cavity
Pus drains into your mouth
Foul taste or odor near an afflicted tooth
Extra sensitive tooth towards too hot or too cold food materials
The Procedure of Root Canal
Root canal treatment has three steps, and it takes about one to three visits to complete.
1. Cleaning the root canal
Firstly, the dentist cleans the root canal by removing everything that is inside it.
The patient is given a suitable dosage of local anesthesia and the dentist creates a small hole in the tooth surface to completely remove the dead and infected pulp tissue using tiny files.
2. Filling the root canal
The next step is to clean, shape and disinfect the vacant area, with small files and irrigation solutions. Then, a rubber-like stuffing is filled in the tooth, using an adhesive cement to close off the canals.
The root canal therapy makes the tooth dead. The patient can no longer sense any kind of pain or sensation in that tooth because of nerve tissue removal, and the elimination of infection.
3. Adding a crown or filling
After this step in the root canal procedure, the tooth becomes fragile. A tooth without pulp has diminished nourishment and eventually becomes brittle. A filling is required after a root canal treatment and a crown may be recommended to protect the tooth.
Ideally, the root canal treatment will save the infected or damaged tooth from further infection and relieve the pain caused due to it. If the damage is beyond control and the tooth cannot be saved, the tooth may have to be extracted. But, it is always advisable to protect your natural teeth against decay or damage because nothing functions as good as an original tooth.
Often, dental issues might leave you with cavities that are too large to fill, or sometimes, the tooth is cracked, worn or weakened. In such cases, a dental crown may be a necessity. Sometimes, two or more dental crowns can be used on either side of missing teeth with artificial teeth attached to the crowns.
Your dental care is also an essential part of your overall cancer treatment. When you are diagnosed with cancer, make sure you let your dentist know about your treatment so he/she can update your medical history. Also, ensure to share your oncologist’s name and number with your dentist. This is because your cancer treatment can