Root Canal Therapy Explained

Root Canal Therapy Explained

Oct 01, 2020

Root canals treatment or therapy is an endodontic procedure that aims to remove infected nerves and pulp from the tooth’s root. Therefore, by undergoing the treatment, you reduce the risk of developing further infections.

Facts About a Root Canal Therapy

You might have heard about root canals treatments. However, some information might be biased. Below are some quick facts about root canal treatment:

  • A root canal therapy removes infected pulp from your root
  • People think a root canal is painful, but it is a pain-relieving procedure
  • The root canal procedure is also known as endodontic therapy
  • A root canal is a minimally invasive procedure

Why Do I Need a Root Canal Therapy?

Sometimes your tooth can be fractured, thus allowing the entry of toxic bacteria into your root canal. When the pulp and nerves in your root canal are infected, it might not repair itself, thus the need for endodontic therapy.

If you have openings on your root, the infection might drain to the gums and jawbone, causing further infections. The root canal infection weakens the bone causing swelling of the ligaments and loosening of the tooth.

In some cases, such as a badly decayed tooth, bone loss, and dental trauma, your dentist might recommend a tooth extraction. To prevent tooth loss, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist when your tooth starts being sensitive to heat and cold as well as pain when you bite down.

Root Canal Treatment Procedure

Your dentist in Saratoga performs root canal therapy in three steps. Depending on your condition, the procedure might take one to three sessions. Below are the steps:

Cleaning the Root Canal

During this step, your dentist will examine your tooth and take dental x-rays to evaluate the extent of the infection. Next, the dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb your tooth. In some cases, your root nerves are dead. Therefore, you might not feel pain during the procedure.

Once your tooth is numb, the dentist will place a dental dam around the tooth to keep it free from saliva. Next, your dentist or endodontist drill an access hole through your enamel to enable pulp and root nerve removal. Your dentist will then use files of different sizes to clean the root canal walls. Finally, the dentist will use water and sodium hypochlorite to rinse the debris out of the root canal.

Filling the Root Canal

Once the root canal is clean, your dentist will fill the space using a rubber-like substance known as gutta-percha. The dentist will also use adhesive cement to seal the access hole. In some cases, the dentist place medications in the root canal to eliminate the infection and seal the access hole temporarily.

Crown Placement

After removing pulp and root nerves, your tooth becomes weak. The tooth root receives nourishment from the ligaments, but with time it becomes brittle. Therefore, your dentist will recommend placing a crown on the tooth.

Before getting a crown for the tooth that has undergone root canal therapy, you should not bite down on it or use it to chew. In the meantime, you can consume soft foods such as yogurt and mashed potatoes.

Is a Root Canal Painful?

When some people hear about root canal therapy, the first thing that crosses their minds is pain. However, the pain that one experiences comes from the infection and not the procedure. During the root canal procedure, the dentist uses local anesthesia to numb the tooth. Therefore, you are not likely to experience pain.

Also, after the procedure, your tooth will be not sensitive to anything since the root nerves are not present.

Oral Care After a Root Canal Therapy

After a root canal therapy, you can follow the tips below on how to take care of your teeth:

  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly
  • Regular dental cleanings and exams
  • Avoid biting on hard objects
  • Wearing protective mouthguards while playing contact sports
  • Quit smoking or using tobacco products

Preventing Root Canal Infections

Dr. Neeshat S. Khan, DDS, insists that prevention is better than cure. Therefore, you should observe oral hygiene by brushing twice daily and flossing. Since plaque and tartar can’t be eliminated by brushing, you might need regular dental cleanings to remove them on your gum line and teeth surfaces. Also, you can avoid sugary and sticky foods to prevent tooth decay.

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