Root canal treatment or endodontics is a specialized area of dentistry that focuses on the soft-core tissue of the teeth, commonly known as the pulp.
This procedure has bad reputation. However, in our hands it is transformed to a comfortable. It is not to cause pain it is a procedure to stop pain.
Many factors can lead to pulp -nerve injury including tooth decay and accidents. If the nerve of a tooth becomes infected, root canal treatment saves the tooth from having to be extracted. As well, by saving the natural tooth it prevents having to replace that tooth with an artificial tooth e.g. dental implant.
Root canal specialist or an endodontist provide this type of treatment. However, many general dentists can do that as well.
The treatment usually starts by administering local anaesthesia. Then, any tooth decay is removed. Then, the damaged, infected, or dead pulp in taken out from inside the tooth. The area is cleaned using special needles called files and washed with disinfecting medications to sterilise the root canals. The dentist uses a rubber sheet called rubber dam to isolate the tooth. Once the canals cleaned, a special filling is used to seal the area.
A temporary or permanent filling is then used to seal the opening of the tooth
After the root canal treatment, the tooth will need to be restored to look and function the same as a natural tooth. For this, your dentist may have you see a prosthodontist: a dental specialist that restores and replaces teeth with crowns, bridges, dentures, and dental implants.
Root canal treatmentis generally completed in one or two visits. After the treatment, the tooth is likely to be tender for one or two weeks. Routine pain killers are usually adequate to control these symptoms. If intense pain or swelling occurs, this is not common but can occur in small number of cases and you should notify your dentist immediately.
If you have severe sensitivity to hot and cold elements, a chipped or broken tooth, an inflamed or infected tooth, or tooth decay, any of these symptoms could require endodontic treatment.