Also known as endodontic treatment, a root canal procedure saves over 15 million teeth each year. In this article, we will explain what is the treatment, the signs of needing it, and the process.
What is a Root Canal Treatment?
The Greek words “endo” and “odont” mean “within” and “tooth,” respectively. Therefore, the inside of the tooth is treated using endodontic treatment. One sort of endodontic treatment is root canal therapy.
Understanding the anatomy of the tooth is helpful in understanding endodontic treatment. A soft tissue called the pulp is found inside the tooth, beneath the white enamel, and a hard layer called the dentin. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and forms the tooth’s surrounding hard tissues.
From the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots, the pulp links to the tissues that surround the root. The pulp plays a crucial role in the growth and development of a tooth. However, after a tooth has reached full maturity, it can survive without the pulp since it is still supplied by the tissues that surround it.
Signs you Need Root Canal Therapy
If you are suffering from the following symptoms, you may need to get the root canal procedure:
- Severe pain when you chew or bite
- A cracked or chipped tooth
- Pimples on the gums
- Swelling or tenderness of the gums
- Sensitivity to hot or cold, and it lingers, even after the sensation of extreme temperature has been removed
- Deep dental decay or darkening of the gums
The Root Canal Treatment Steps
The treatment may be completed in one or two dental sessions. Here is the step-wise
- The dentist will take an x-ray to examine the tooth in detail. An anaesthetic is administered to numb the area before starting the process. The dentist will also place a dental dam to isolate the tooth and protect it from saliva during the treatment
- The dentist will remove some portion of the tooth crown, which leaves an opening. Through this opening, small instruments are used to clean out the infected pulp and root canals, as well as shape the space for filling
- The endodontist fills the root canals with a biocompatible material, commonly gutta-percha, which is a rubber-like material. To guarantee that the root canals are completely sealed, the gutta-percha is applied using adhesive cement. Most of the time, a temporary filler is used to close the gap. Your dentist will remove the temporary filling before the tooth is repaired
- You must return to your dentist after your final session with your endodontist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to safeguard and restore it to full function
Is Root Canal Painful?
Generally, when your dentist numbs the area, you will not feel any pain. However, minor discomfort/pressure may be felt. Following the treatment, your dentist may recommend a pain killer to keep you comfortable during the healing process.
Root Canal Dentist in Seattle
Sue Vetter is a root canal dentist in Seattle — offering quality, affordable, and comfortable root canal therapy. To learn more or book your appointment, please call or visit us.