Root canal is a term which is used for describing your natural cavity that lies within the center of your tooth. The nerves of the tooth lie in the root canal. When the nerve tissue or the pulp of your tooth gets damaged, it will break down resulting in multiplication of bacteria in the pulp chamber. The presence of bacteria and the decayed debris may cause a tooth infection. It can also cause a swelling that sometimes spreads to the other parts of the neck, face or head.
If you are experiencing pain, tooth discoloration, swelling or a feeling of tenderness in your lymph nodes, there may be a chance that you require a root canal treatment.
A root canal is performed for repairing or saving an infected tooth that has been damaged badly. The procedure is carried out by removing the area of the tooth that is damaged, commonly known as the pulp. After that, the area is cleaned and disinfected before being filled and sealed. Once this initial treatment is performed, you can visit the dentist later who may place a crown on the affected tooth for protection and restore it to function perfectly. A root canal treatment may comprise of one to three visits to the dentist, depending on the severity of the condition.
How is the treatment done?
A root canal involves the following steps:
Initially, you have to undergo an x-ray so that your doctor can examine and locate the position of your infected tooth.
After it has been located, the dentist will administer local anesthesia for numbing the area around that particular tooth.
The doctor then places a rubber sheet around the affected tooth to ensure that the area is dry.
A hole is drilled in your tooth to remove the debris and the nerve tissues that have decayed. Suitable files are used to scrape away the decayed portion in the process. Sodium hypochlorite or water is periodically used for flushing away the debris.
Once the tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, the doctor seals it. In case there is an infection, your doctor may apply some medicine to cure it before sealing the tooth.
If the treatment remains incomplete, the exterior hole of your tooth is given a temporary filling to keep away the food and saliva. The permanent filling is done in the following appointment.