A dental root canal is a dental procedure that is used to treat an infected or inflamed tooth. The procedure involves removing the infected or inflamed tissue from inside the tooth, known as the pulp, and then cleaning, disinfecting, and filling the root canals of the tooth. This helps to save the damaged tooth and prevent the need for an extraction.
The pulp of a tooth is the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. When the pulp becomes infected or inflamed, it can cause severe pain, swelling, and tooth sensitivity. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the surrounding tissue and bone, leading to an abscess (a pocket of pus) and eventually tooth loss.
The root canal procedure is typically performed by an endodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating the inside of the teeth. The procedure is usually done under local anesthesia and takes one to three visits to complete.
During the first visit, the dentist will numb the area around the tooth and make an opening through the top of the tooth to access the pulp. The infected or inflamed pulp is then removed, and the root canals are cleaned, disinfected, and shaped to prepare them for filling.
After the root canals have been cleaned, disinfected and shaped, the dentist will place a rubber-like material called gutta-percha into the root canals. This material helps to seal the canals and prevent bacteria from entering.
Finally, a temporary filling is placed in the opening to protect the tooth until a permanent filling or crown can be placed. A permanent filling or crown will be placed on the tooth to protect it from breaking and restore it to its normal function.
After the root canal procedure, it's normal to experience some mild discomfort or sensitivity for a few days. Over-the-counter pain medication can help to alleviate any pain. It's also important to keep the tooth clean by brushing and flossing regularly and visiting the dentist for follow-up care.
It's important to note that a root canal treated tooth can still develop new infection or inflammation, so it's essential to have regular dental check-ups to ensure the tooth is healthy. A tooth that has had a root canal will also require a crown or other form of protection to keep it from breaking or becoming infected again.
In conclusion, a dental root canal is a procedure used to save a damaged or infected tooth. The procedure involves removing the infected or inflamed pulp from inside the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting the root canals, and filling the canals with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Root canal treatment is usually a safe and effective way to save a damaged tooth and prevent tooth loss. It is important to note that after the procedure, regular dental check-ups are necessary to ensure the tooth is healthy. A tooth that has had a root canal will also require a crown or other form of protection to keep it from breaking or becoming infected again.