Most people have had dental cavities treated by their dentist, but some decayed teeth require a special procedure to avoid complete loss of the damaged tooth.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a common dental procedure where pulp and nerve tissue are removed from the inside of a tooth. The newly hollowed space within the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, and filled with a hard substance which will protect the inner canal of the tooth from future damage.
What Causes the Need for a Root Canal?
The most common cause of needing a root canal is extensive damage from tooth decay. Small cavities can be controlled and repaired fairly simply when they are detected early, but a lack of quick treatment can lead to large areas of decay which affect the entire tooth. The large areas of decay can spread to the inside of the tooth, allowing harmful bacteria to damage the inner pulp and cause infections to the nerves and surrounding gum tissue.
What is Done During a Root Canal?
The root canal procedure has many steps:
- The tooth’s crown is removed.
- Decayed areas are treated as necessary.
- Inner pulp & nerve tissue is removed.
- The inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned.
- A temporary filling and crown are added to the treated tooth to allow future observation after the tooth has had time to heal.
- A permanent filling & crown are placed on the tooth to prevent future damages to the inside of the tooth.
Is a Root Canal Treatment Painful?
Root Canal treatments are generally painless. Your dentist will provide a suitable anesthetic to make the procedure as comfortable for you as possible.