The term root canal refers to blood vessels and nerves that keep the tooth healthy and alive. In other words, it is the inner section of the tooth and it is found between tooth nerve and pulp. Sometimes, the nerves in a tooth become extremely sensitive to cold, heat, and many other stimuli. Getting rid of the inflammation or infection in a root canal system, called root canal therapy (RCT), helps relieve the pain. If your dentist advises you to undergo this procedure, then perhaps you may be unsure of what to expect. Well, this article puts into perspective the standard process of getting a root canal done, but first, let’s highlight the common causes of root canal therapy.
Common causes of root canals
There are many origins of root canal pain, which include the following:
- Tooth damage – chips or cracks in the teeth;
- Decay – tooth decay often penetrates the teeth’s outer layer to affect the nerves;
- Diseases – some oral diseases and dental procedures increase the risk of pain in the root canal.
It is essential for people to note that not all types of tooth pain are signs and symptoms of the need for a root canal. Therefore, if the dentist prescribed root canal therapy as the last resort, then it means you are experiencing severe and serious teeth pain, high sensitivity to cold or hot, the appearance of pimples on the gums, darkening of the teeth, or even swelling of gums near the section of teeth pain. If that is the case, then here is what you should expect to undergo!
The process of getting a dental root canal
Just like any other dental procedure, a root canal is a multi-step process, which involves removal of the infected or inflamed tooth pulp and nerve from a tooth, thereafter sealing to stop future infection and pain. In general, the following are the steps adhered to by dentists when administering this procedure:
Step 1: Diagnosing the infected section
If you have any of the signs or symptoms earlier stated, you need to schedule an immediate appointment with your doctor. During the first visit, he may decide to take an X-ray to confirm the infection.
Step 2: Numbing up
Both numbing agents and local anesthesia are usually used for numbing up patients during root canal procedure. As you all know, numbing up prevents the patient from experiencing additional pain during the entire procedure and makes them comfortable.
Step 3: Removing the infected section
This step seems somewhat scary, but it is the backbone of the root canal procedure. Depending on the option taken by your dentist or endodontist, he must drill a hole (access hole) into the tooth using special tools so it becomes easier to remove the infected pulp tissue or damaged nerves.
Step 4: Root canal treatment
Removal of the damaged or infected canal is not enough to regain oral health; it needs additional treatment. If the canals in the system are not thoroughly disinfected or cleaned, they may become infected again. During any standard RCT, treatment files or fluids are used for the purposes of removing the infected tissues.
Step 5: Sealing and restoration
As soon as the required root canal treatment has been done, it is now the time to finish up and close the procedure. Tooth restoration options include the use of crowns and fillings, often referred to as sealing. The tooth can be sealed completely on the same day or on a later day. If the second option is chosen, then the doctor inserts a temporary filling in the hole, which prevents root canal pain while awaiting a customized crown.
That is what you can expect to happen when you have a root canal done. It is a simple process contrary to what you initially thought. This therapy usually includes one or two scheduled visits to your endodontist or dentist. If everything is done to perfection, you will ultimately regain your smile and live a healthy life free from any dental pain.