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Everything you should know about a Root Canal Procedure
Are you wondering what happens during the root canal procedure? If so, you’ve come to the right place. However, to understand the root canal procedure, you need to first understand the basic anatomy of the tooth. Our teeth are made of several layers — the external layer is the enamel, which is followed by the dentin, which is followed by the root canal. This root canal layer hosts the pulp chamber, which holds all of the pulp within the teeth, and some live nerves that don’t have any functional value but provide hot and cold sensations.
The root canal treatment, however, is a procedure in which the dentist removes all of the pulp and nerves from within the root canal to disinfect a tooth or prevent a bacterial infection from spreading further. This procedure may seem extremely invasive, but it’s no more painful than a dental filling. Root canals are often necessary if a bacterial infection has spread into the pulp chamber, thus infecting the pulp and nerves. When that happens, it’s only about time before the infection will spread to the tooth’s root and lead to a dental abscess, which can lead to tooth loss, bone loss, and various other complications. As such, a root canal is often a last-resort method to save your infected tooth from complete decay. Now that you’re familiar with the basics of root canals, let’s discuss the details of the root canal procedure.
What happens during a root canal procedure?
Root canals may require several visits to the dentist’s office and they’re generally provided by a general dentist or an endodontist, i.e., someone who specializes primarily in dealing with issues related to the pulp chamber, a subspecialty within dentistry. The following is a detailed overview of everything that happens during a root canal procedure:
- The first thing the dentist must do is take an X-ray to examine the root canal and determine how to proceed with the treatment based on the level of infection.
- In most cases, if the infection has spread into the pulp chamber, the nerves will be dead and you won’t need local anesthesia. But dentists still provide local anesthesia as a precaution.
- The dentist will place a rubber dam around your infected tooth to prevent saliva from interfering with the procedure.
- The dentist will drill an access hole into your tooth to access the site of infection.
- They’ll use root canal files to remove all of the infected pulp, dead nerves, and surrounding debris from the root canal. After cleaning the tooth, the dentist may apply medication to the tooth to remove the infection further. They’ll place a temporary filling over the tooth to protect the hollowed tooth and ask you to return for another session in a week. During the next session, they’ll remove the temporary filling. This step, however, is optional — some dentists may recommend it but others won’t.
- Some dentists will seal the root canal immediately after cleaning the tooth using a rubber compound called gutta-percha.
- Following that, they’ll seal any cracks on the outside of the tooth using dental fillings.
- Teeth that have undergone a root canal procedure are often left in a weakened state. As such, the dentist may recommend getting a dental crown over the tooth to protect it from damage and restore its full functionality. While this is generally optional, you should opt for it and get dental crowns.
Why is a root canal considered oral surgery?
There’s a common misconception that a root canal is a complex surgical procedure but that’s simply not true. Root canal procedure is no more complex or painful than a simple dental filling — in fact, it can even be considered to be a more advanced form of a dental filling. Oral surgery is a procedure in which the dentist creates an incision on the gums to access the underlying tissues and bone. As such, it’s a minimally-invasive non-surgical procedure.
Do most dentists know how to do root canals?
Yes, most general dentists and dental health professionals are trained in root canals. The only difference between dentists and endodontists is that the latter of the two is more experienced than general dentists. Endodontists perform an average of 25 root canals per week, making them experts in the field. However, you can even go to general dentists for root canals.
Why is a tooth extracted after a root canal?
Tooth extraction is generally necessary after the root canal. The dentist will ask you to come back for a follow-up visit after the root canal procedure. If they find that your tooth is still infected, they’ll have no option but to perform a tooth extraction to prevent the infection from spreading. If they don’t remove the infected tooth, the infection may also spread to your jawbone and surrounding teeth, risking your entire dental framework and general health.
Find a Dental Doctor Near Me
URBN Dental has some of the best general dentists in Houston, TX who can provide root canals. For more information, please schedule your appointment today.
To understand the root canal procedure, you need to first understand the basic anatomy of the tooth. URBN Dental has some of the best general dentists in Houston, TX who can provide root canals. For more information, please schedule your appointment today.