A Quick Guide to Root Canal Treatment: What to Expect
People suffering from dental problems dread going through the root canal procedure due to their fear of pain. But a root canal treatment is critical to saving your tooth from further decay and complications.
Many patients are unsure about what a root canal treatment is and how it is done. Here is a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about a root canal treatment.
What is a root canal treatment?
When the nerves and the blood vessels underneath your tooth get infected, pus and abscesses form, resulting in tooth pain. Root canal treatment, also known as RCT, involves a procedure that cleans the infected nerve inside the tooth. The tooth is then medicated, and the canal is filled with a root filling. Once the RCT is done, the dentist places a crown over the treated tooth to protect it from further damage.
How is a root canal treatment done?
There are a few stages of a complete RCT. Before the procedure starts, our team will take an X-ray of the infected tooth. This will give a clear picture of the damage caused to the tooth and also whether an RCT will be the ideal option.
Once our dentist decides on if a RCT will be appropriate, they will perform the following procedures
1. Applying anesthesia
Our dentist would first apply anesthesia to numb the pain in the tooth and the adjacent area. Next, a small rubber dam will also be placed in the treatment area so that the tooth remains dry during the procedure.
2. Creating a hole in the tooth to access the nerve root
A small opening is drilled on the infected tooth to access the root of the nerve and the pulp. Very small dental tools are then used to remove the affected tissues, nerves, and blood vessels that are causing the tooth infection.
3. Shaping and filling the canals beneath the tooth
Once the nerve root and the pulp are removed from underneath the tooth, the canal is then cleaned and disinfected. It is then filled with dental filler. Usually, the dental filler is a rubbery, flexible material known as the gutta-percha.
4. Sealing of Tooth
A temporary dental filling is added to the tooth to seal it and prevent further bacterial infection.
5. Crowning the Tooth
Finally, a crown is placed on the tooth to protect it from further infections and also to restore your ability to use the tooth normally. Usually, the crowns are customized as per the shape and size of your tooth. The process of fabricating the crown takes around three weeks. Once the crown is ready, the temporary filling of the tooth is removed, and the permanent crown is used to cover the tooth.
What Happens if you don not have root canal treatment?
If a tooth infection is left untreated, not only will it be unbearably painful, but the infection can spread inside the mouth and other parts of the body too. It can also be life-threatening in some cases, especially if the bacteria enter your bloodstream. If you happen to suffer from any of the below-mentioned symptoms, you might need an RCT right away
- Pain in the tooth while biting food
- A cracked tooth
- Pimples on the gums or any gum infection causing pain
- Swollen gums that are also painful
- Long-term tooth sensitivity, especially when you consume hot or cold food
- Deep decay in the gums