What Happens During A Root Canal?
A Root Canal Treatment or a root canal, as it is popularly known, is the procedure involving cleaning out of infected material in the tooth’s pulp and root.
A tooth structure is as follows –
- The outer white enamel
- The layer of yellow, spongy dentin underneath the enamel
- The pulp chamber encased within the tooth
The pulp chamber is responsible for the vitality of the tooth and contains the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue being supplied to the tooth. The chamber extends into the roots of the teeth in the form of canals – the root canals.
When a tooth experiences decay, it might extend to the pulp chamber, infecting it, inflaming it, and eventually causing pulp death. Pulp death renders the tooth dead, aka non-vital.
The process of root canal treatment aims at removing all the decayed material. Furthermore, re-filling the tooth with inert material, thereby preserving the tooth’s natural structure.
When Would I Require A Root Canal Therapy?
If you notice any of the following symptoms, you might require an RCT –
While a toothache can be caused by various other reasons, if it is persistent and hurts deep in the bone, the pulp could be infected.
Sensitivity to Extreme Temperatures
If you experience long-standing sensitivity, even if you’re not eating or drinking, it could be a sign of pulp infection.
Trauma to a tooth can damage it, imparting a gray-ish black appearance to the normally white tooth. Inadequate blood supply due to an injury can lead to pulp death, demanding urgent dental care.
Swelling of a gum indicates an infection and could signal possible pulp decay. The gum may or may not be tender to touch and the inflammation may come and go.
However, if you notice pus drainage from the area, get in touch with your dentist as soon as you can.
What Are The Steps Involved In Root Canal Treatment?
Root canals usually take one to two visits to complete. The time involved in performing a root canal depends on the affected tooth and the number of roots it has.
- Molars usually take up to or more than 90 minutes. The posterior teeth usually have 4 roots, hence the extended period.
- Premolars have 1 or 2 roots. A root canal of this tooth takes about 60 minutes.
- The incisors and canines have only one root. The procedure time for these is 45 to 60 minutes.
The RCT takes place in the following steps –
Your dentist at MPLS will start the procedure by examining the tooth physically and via X-rays. This helps them understand the extent of the damage and plan the procedure.
Patients are given local anesthesia to keep them pain-free during the length of the procedure. If they feel pain even after the injection, the dentist will either administer more or opt for sedation.
Cleaning The Infected Tooth
Once the anesthesia has set in, the dentist drills a hole in the tooth to access the pulp chamber. Using RCT-specific instruments, they proceed to clean out the infected material. They will constantly rinse the tooth to prevent any debris accumulation.
The cleaning process removes all of the pulp tissue from the chamber and the roots.
Shaping The Canal
Once the diseased tissue has been removed and the tooth has been cleaned out, the dentist will then reshape the canals. This is done to allow better access to filling material.
Before filling the canals, your dentist at MPLS might fill the space with medication to kill any traces of bacteria. If this is done, the patient is sent home with a temporary filling and recalled for a second appointment.
Filling The Canal
The empty canals are filled with an inert, rubbery material called gutta-percha. This is then sealed off with a permanent filling – amalgam or composite.
The removal of pulp tissue weakens the tooth. This is why there is a strict need for it to be restored with a dental crown.
A dental crown restores the structural and functional integrity of the affected tooth. It can be made of metal or porcelain-fused-to-metal, depending on your dentist’s recommendation.
The attachment of the crown is done in a separate appointment, once the tooth has had a chance to heal.
Is Root Canal A Painless Procedure?
Yes. With the injection of local anesthesia, the procedure is pretty painless. A patient might feel a little discomfort but once the pulp tissue has been removed, that will reduce down to zero.
Speak to your dentist if you’re worried about pain. They will not only listen to your concerns but also provide you with better options to combat the issue.
Dentists might sometimes administer their patients with a sedative along with local anesthesia to keep them composed. In certain cases, general anesthesia might also be used.
Root canals have a bad rep for being extremely painful. However, that certainly isn’t the case. A root canal treatment is your way out of extreme pain. They relieve your toothache as opposed to the notion that they cause it.
Can A Cosmetic Dentist Perform A Root Canal?
Cosmetic dentistry isn’t a separate or recognized field of dentistry. This means that a cosmetic dentist is a general dentist that prefers taking up cosmetic work.
General dentists are qualified to perform root canal therapy, so yes, a cosmetic dentist can perform a root canal.
With a cosmetic dentist, you have the chance of a fantastic smile makeover. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t get great results with any other general dentist.
The kind of dentists that specialize in root canal therapies are endodontists. This means they are expertly trained at handling any case – simple or complex – they come across.
At Minneapolis Dental, we have a fantastic dental team to take care of your root canal issues. Not only will you top-notch dental care, but we also take great pride in ensuring our patients are satisfied with their treatment. To schedule an appointment with our in-house experts, call us at (612) 332-1255.