If you have been experiencing tooth pain, a dentist may have told you that you need a root canal. A root canal is a dental procedure where the center of the tooth (the pulp) is removed, cleaned and then repaired. Often times, a root canal is the first step in tooth repair and crowning.
The idea behind root canal treatment is to save a tooth that in years past would have required removal, or that would have fallen out on its own. Root canals also remove the damaged area of the tooth, making it less likely that infection will occur, that may damage the jaw bone.
The most common reasons that someone requires a root canal and crown are from cracked teeth, deep or large cavities, or injuries to the tooth. Common injuries include falling on the tooth, being hit in the tooth area, or receiving a blow to the head that impacts the tooth. Tooth repair is frequently needed after automobile accidents when passengers or the driver fly forward into the airbags, and suddenly snap their mouth shut.
After the inside of the tooth is cleaned, your dentist will determine how severe the damage is. If the tooth has extensive damage, or is very broken down, a post may need to be placed as part of the tooth repair process. This allows for the tooth to be ‘built up’ before the crown is placed.
It is important to have all necessary steps of the tooth repair process completed. Failure to do so may result in further damage, including damage to the bone in the jaw.
You just come from the dentist, and you have been told you need a root canal. This short article will explain what a root canal really is, and what to expect.
A root canal is the space inside of your tooth that travels from the inside pulp chamber to the tip of the tooth. The dental procedure known as ‘root canal therapy’ involves removal of the root end that connects to the nerves so that the tooth ache will go away.
To perform a root canal, you will receive a local numbing agent. A rubber ‘dam’ will be placed in your mouth to keep the area dry. This may feel uncomfortable, as you are required to open your mouth very wide, but does not hurt. If you have a hard time keeping your mouth open for long periods, let your dentist know so that you can have ‘breaks’ during the procedure. After you are completely ‘numb’ a small hole will be drilled in your tooth, and then the root extracted. Depending on the damage, root canals may take just one visit, or may need several visits. Typically, each visit will take a couple of hours. You will feel no pain. If you do experience pain, immediately let your dentist know so more numbing agent can be given.
If the tooth was damaged from trauma or infection, your dentist may start you on antibiotics prior to the procedure. You may need to complete antibiotics after the procedure. When the root canal is completed, the tooth will need to have a crown placed to protect the tooth structure.
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort with any of your teeth, contact your local dentist today for a complete consultation.
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