All about Root Canals

In Dental Health, Dental issues by Dr. Mathew Palmer

“I’d rather get a root canal” is what you say when something you’ve got to do is so terrible, you’d rather undergo the pain of a root canal.

The truth is that having a root canal is no more painful for most people than getting their fillings done. Many patients come away impressed by how simple and easy the treatment is. What’s more, they are relatively pain-free before and after the procedure.

Here’s what you need to know about root canals.

What is a root canal?

The word “root canal” may refer to both the inner portion (passages) of the tooth between the roots of the pulp and the roots of the tooth, and the dental procedure used to extract infected material and alleviate pain caused by the root canal.

The root canals consist of blood vessels and nerves. When an adult tooth has emerged from the gums, the nerve of the tooth does not serve any function other than to sense heat, cold, and other stimuli. Removing a nerve in an infected tooth is part of a standard protocol for the treatment of teeth pain caused by decay or pulp infection.

What causes root canals?

Treatment is required when the pulp, which is the soft tissue within the root canal, becomes inflamed or contaminated. Inflammation or infection may have several causes: extreme deterioration on the tooth repeated dental procedures or a crack or chip in the tooth.

Additionally, a tooth injury can cause damage to the pulp, even though the tooth has no noticeable chips or cracks. If the flesh is left untreated by inflammation or infection, it may cause pain or lead to an abscess.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

Patients usually need a root canal when they find that their teeth are sensitive, particularly to sensations of heat and cold.

There are a few signs that may mean you will need a root canal—

  • Severe pain when you chew orbit.
  • Pimples on your gums.
  • A missing or chipped tooth.
  • A persistent reaction to heat or cold, even after removing the thing which is causing the temperature change.
  • Gums that are swollen or tender.
  • A darkening of the gums.

What is involved in a root canal?

A root canal is a multi-step dental operation involving removing from a tooth the contaminated tooth pulp (and sometimes the nerve) and sealing it against possible teeth pain.
 Root canal therapy is conducted in three stages, and completion involves between one and three sessions.

  1. Remove: The dentist eliminates everything that is within the root canal first. The dentist makes a hole on the tooth with the patient under local anesthesia and extracts the infected pulp tissue with tiny implements.
  2. Clean: With these tools in conjunction with an irrigator, the dentist cleans, forms, and decontaminates the hollow area. Then, a rubber-like substance covers the tooth, using an adhesive paste to close the canals completely. The tooth is effectively dead following root canal treatment. The patient will no longer experience any discomfort in that tooth due to the removal of the nerve tissue and the elimination of the infection.
  3. Protect: Adding a crown or coating of the tooth is now more delicate than it used to be. A tooth without a pulp must get its nutrients from the ligament that binds the tooth to the bone. Due to this, the tooth can become more fragile over time, so a crown or filling provides protection.

When a crown or filling is finished, the person can use the tooth as before. Treatment typically requires only one appointment, but in certain circumstances, one or two additional meetings may be required.

Root Canal Aftercare

After a root canal taking good care of your teeth and gums is a must. In addition to twice-dental cleanings and tests, you will need to schedule an extra appointment with your dentist to check the infected tooth to make sure any signs of infection are gone.

Does a root canal hurt?

Generally, people would say a root canal doesn’t hurt more than just having a quick filling, so they will be able to return to their regular activities quickly. Since a person in need of a root canal is often already in severe pain, the care of the root canal usually offers relief from pain and minimal recovery time.

An individual experiencing intense pain after a root canal that doesn’t get better after a couple of days should immediately return to the dentist for further examination.

How long is the preserved tooth going to last?

A root canal filling can stay healthy for several years if properly preserved and maintained. But like any other tooth, it may become decayed or broken, or gum disease may occur in the tissue surrounding it. Professional cleanings and routine dental exams can help keep your mouth safe— whether or not you have had root canal therapy.