A root canal is essentially an endodontic (inside the tooth) treatment, where the root of the tooth is treated. A tooth broadly has two parts – a crown and the roots. The upper visible part that contains your chewing surface is the crown and the lower part which finally embeds in your gums, is the root. When the pulp of the tooth gets infected to such an extent that it spreads till the site where the roots penetrate your gums, a Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is required.
Since the tooth harbors the blood vessels, nerve tissue and other cells (all of which make up the pulp), a root canal treatment actually numbs the area. No pain sensations exists any longer, because, the pulp that contains the nerve tissue is pulled out!
Are you one among those who dread a root canal therapy and tend to postpone your dentist visits again and again, out of that anxiety of yours?
If yes, you need to get a clear notion about the step by step process involved in a RCT. Remember, delaying with an RCT, would not only result in a tooth loss but also infect your gums causing pain in the area.
The Procedure for a Root Canal Therapy
1. Accessing the pulp:
An anesthesia is applied. This makes you sit at ease in front of your dentist. A small hole is made through the surface of the tooth to access the infected pulp inside.
2. Cleaning the pulp
The infected pulp is cleared off. This involves removing the damaged nerve tissue and other affected cells. Once the nerve is removed the tooth is actually dead. There is no more element left in your tooth to let you feel the pain!
3. Filling the canal:
The hollow space created post the previous step, is then filled with a rubber-like material, which is attached with an adhesive.
4. Placing the crown:
The canals are sealed completely and the crown placed above functions like a normal tooth once again. Now that the blood vessels and tissues are missing, the tooth above receives nourishment from the ligament that attaches it to the bone. This is a dire necessity as the tooth already becomes a little vulnerable and less stronger than before.
How to find out whether a root canal is required?
- Serious teeth pain and pressure felt in a particular area, especially down a specific tooth.
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods and liquids. The sensitivity generally lingers even after the stimulus is removed.
- A small growth that you may notice in the gum near the pain site particularly.
- Inflammation or tenderness in the gums near the area of the tooth pain.
- The tooth may gradually turn dark-colored!
If you are facing any of the above mentioned symptoms, you need to see the dentist. He might probably recommend a root canal for you.
Finally, if you are a probable candidate for a RCT,you need to keep an important thing in mind. A common hazard associated with RCT is that, the pulp infection in all the four roots is not diagnosed properly. If even one pulp is left untreated, the damage starts building up again and gradually goes down to the gum bed. Therefore, one needs to be meticulous in his search for the best dentist nearby!