Everything You need to Know about Root Canals
Root canal therapy repairs and saves badly infected or decayed teeth. Your tooth pulp or nerve can become inflamed, infected or irritated because of:
- Deep decay
- A series of dental procedures on your tooth
- Large fillings
- A cracked or chipped tooth
- Trauma to your face.
During root canal treatment, the doctor removes the tooth pulp and nerve before proceeding to clean the insides and finally sealing. Without any treatment, the surrounding tissues will get infected and form an abscess.
A tooth’s nerve plays no role in its health and functionality. Its only task is giving sensations of hot or cold and its absence in no way affects how the tooth works.
Why the Pulp needs to be Removed
Once a tooth’s pulp or nerve tissue is damaged, it decomposes and the result is bacteria multiplication inside the pulp chamber. The bacteria together with other decayed debris cause a tooth abscess or infection. An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms at the root ends. Also, a root canal infection may cause:
- A swelling that may progress to other neck, face or head areas
- Loss of bone around the root tip
- Drainage issues extending from the tooth’s root.
Signs You need a Root Canal
If you notice any of these signs, it is possible that you need root canal therapy near you:
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Pain during chewing or biting
- Pimples forming on the gums
- Chipped/ cracked teeth
- Swollen and painful gums
- Deep decay
- Darkened gums
What to Expect during the Procedure
The procedure can be performed by your regular dentist or they may refer you to an endodontist if your case is severe. An endodontist is devoted to studying the causes, diagnosing, preventing and treating issues of the tooth’s pulp or nerve tissue. Root canal therapy in Folsom, CA takes the following steps:
- Step 1: Our dentist at Empire Parkway Dental Group performs an x-ray to help them detect any infection signs in the surrounding bone. Local anesthesia may be administered to numb that region of the tooth even though it isn’t necessary as the nerve is already dead. Nevertheless, dentists do this to calm and relax you.
- Step 2: Your dentist surrounds the tooth with a rubber dam. This keeps the area saliva-free.
- Step 3: A hole is drilled into your tooth for access purposes. Your dentist removes bacteria, pulp and the damaged nerve tissue from your tooth before cleaning its inside using root canal files. As the files work their way down the length of the tooth, the dentist sprays sodium hypochlorite in the area to wash the debris away.
- Step 4: After the tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, the dentist seals it. While some may wait for days, some dentists prefer sealing the tooth on the same day of cleaning out. For example, if your root canal is infected, the dentist may place some medication inside the tooth and send you home without sealing it. If this is the case, a filing is placed in your tooth’s exterior hole to keep away food particles and saliva until your next appointment.
- Step 5: During your next visit, your tooth’s interior is filled. Your dentist places gutta percha in the root canal. Thereafter, they will close the access hole using a filling.
- Step 6: This final step involves further restoring your teeth. Typically, teeth that need root canal often have extensive decay, large filling or several other weaknesses. You may therefore need restorations to restore it to full functionality and protect it from breakages.
Recovering from Root Canal
After the procedure, you may experience numbness in your mouth for about two hours. You can however jump back to your daily routine although you can’t start eating immediately.
It is normal to experience some sensitivity a few days after the procedures. This can be dealt with by purchasing over-the-counter pain-relieving medications.
Avoiding Root Canal Therapy
Since large fillings, repeated dental procedures and extensive decay may be the reasons for the inflammation of the pulp, there are several things you could do to evade the need for a root canal treatment:
- Brush twice daily
- Floss once a day
- A mouth guard would help prevent sports-related injuries