Guide to Root Canal Treatment – Purpose, Symptoms, and Procedure

You might go to the dentist with a toothache and he tells you your tooth needs root canal treatment. Do you know why? Because the purpose of root canal treatment is to remove the bacterial infection inside the tooth and reduce the likelihood of future reinfections. It is a safe and effective dental procedure that relieves pain caused by an infected tooth.

Stages of Root Canal Treatment

Oral bacteria can invade the pulp inside your tooth, which usually occurs when a cavity is left untreated or if the tooth becomes cracked or damaged due to trauma. Root canal procedure involves cleaning, medicating an infected nerve or tooth, and root filling. After a root canal treatment, a general dentist Willow Glen or elsewhere will place a crown on the tooth for long-term protection.

What is Root Canal Treatment?

A root canal is a proven dental procedure used to remove the soft center of the tooth, called the pulp. It is made of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that help the tooth grow. 

It is advised when the pulp is injured or becomes inflamed or infected. Removing injured or infected pulp is an ideal way to maintain the structure of the tooth. In the majority of cases, a general dentist performs a root canal while a patient is under local anesthesia.

Do You Need a Root Canal Treatment?

In some cases, you may not be aware of an infected tooth. However, there are a few symptoms that indicate you need a root canal, including:

  • Tooth pain doesn’t go away
  • Experiencing a sensitivity to hot or cold beverages
  • Swollen gums
  • Swollen jaw
  • Pimple on the gums
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Feel pain when pressure is applied
  • Chipped or cracked tooth
  • Loose tooth

The most common signs of the damaged pulp include pain in your tooth, swelling, and heat sensation in your gums. In such cases, Willow Glen dental practitioner will examine painful teeth and take X-rays to confirm the diagnosis. 

How Root Canal is Performed?

Step 1 – Anesthetic

A dentist will apply a numbing medication on your gum near the affected tooth. After this, a local anesthetic will be injected into your gums. You will be awake during the process, but anesthesia will make it less painful.

Step 2 – Removing the Pulp

A dentist will make a small opening on the top of your tooth. Once he finds an infected or damaged pulp, he will gently remove it using a tool called files. Then, he will clean out the canals in your tooth.

Step 3 – Antibiotics

After removing the pulp, a dentist will coat the area with a topical antibiotic to prevent reinfection. Once pathways are properly cleaned and disinfected, a dentist will fill and secure the tooth with a sealer paste and rubber-like material, known as gutta-percha. A specialist may prescribe you oral antibiotics.

Step 4 – Temporary Filling

A specialist will complete the procedure by filling a small opening in the top of your tooth with a soft, temporary material. This can prevent canals from being affected by saliva.

Step 5 – Follow-up

A dentist may prescribe you pain medications and you can get back to your daily routine the day after the procedure. It is advised to avoid chewing with the damaged tooth until it is filled permanently or the crown is placed over the top.

After a few days, a dentist will take X-rays to ensure the infection is gone and replace the temporary filling with a permanent one. If you prefer, a dentist may place a crown (artificial teeth with a realistic appearance) on the tooth.

Final Words

A root canal is a restorative dental procedure that takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete. When the root canal is performed well by a general dentist, results can last a long time – even the rest of your life. So, if you’re experiencing tooth pain or swelling in the jaw, opt for a root canal to remove the infection and feel better.

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