Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy, better known as a root canal or endodontic treatment, is the process of removing the tooth’s pulp in order to remove or help prevent infection within the tooth. The pulp of a tooth is a soft, thread-like tissue that helps detect things like temperature, pressure, or trauma to the tooth, and protects it from bacteria by providing nutrients and healthy formation. The pulp is essentially the nerve of a tooth.
Why would you need a root canal?
There are many reasons why someone would need a root canal:
- Abscess: An abscessed tooth is a throbbing pain that originates from the inside of the tooth and moves to the root. When a it loses the ability to protect itself, an abscess is formed and the pulp of the tooth becomes infected.
- Fracture: If a tooth is fractured deep enough to reach the pulp and does not leave enough structure above the gum, a root canal should be performed in order to help establish restoration.
- Trauma: When a tooth suffers from a large amount of pressure or impact, the nerve could be disconnected, causing the tooth to die either immediately or over the span of several years.
How does root canal therapy work?
By creating a small opening in the tooth, dentists remove the infected pulp, clean and enlarge the root canal and prepare it for filling. Dentists then fill the canal with a rubbery material called gutta-percha and seal the tooth with cement. If necessary, dentists will insert a metal or plastic rod in the canal for structural support.
Root canal therapy can last anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on whether or not you’re receiving a permanent or temporary filling as well as what tooth is being worked on.
Does root canal therapy hurt?
Fortunately for us, in modern society the process of root canal therapy is similar to having a routine filling, and patients can anticipate a comfortable experience.
What to expect after root canal therapy.
After root canal therapy, it’s important to avoid chewing with the treated tooth and to brush and floss as normal. With patience and good practice, your tooth will start to feel normal.