Root canals are very routine dental procedures that simply require a limited, additional amount of time due to their complexity involving the nerve of the tooth. The treatments are necessary when a tooth has been severely damaged, or had decay reach far enough into the tooth until it comes into proximity with the nerve.
When you first arrive for a root canal procedure, you’ll be anesthetized the same way you would be for a filling. Some people also request nitrous oxide to help them relax. Once the area is completely numb, your dentist will begin removing any enamel that has decay, the same as if you were just having a filling. After the preparation has extended into the nerve chamber, the damaged nerve tissue will be removed from inside of the canal. The canals of the roots will then be thoroughly cleaned in order to prevent a recurrent infection. An x-ray may be taken to determine when the very end of the root canal has been met by the dentist’s equipment. Because teeth have anywhere from 1 to 3 roots on average, root canals can vary in length. Curves or bends in the roots may make some treatments more tedious and require additional treatment time.
After the nerve is removed, a filling material is placed into the nerve canal and chamber of the tooth, to seal it off completely. The crown of the tooth is then prepared and an impression is taken so that a permanent crown can be made for the tooth. Putting a crown over the tooth helps protect the integrity of the enamel, because the tooth is no longer living, and it can become brittle.
Other than some discomfort from opening or your injection site, root canal treatments are typically just as comfortable as other types of treatment. Let your dentist know what needs you may have during your treatment so that you can remain as comfortable as possible.
Posted on behalf of Randy Muccioli
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