An Overview of Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is one of the most common dental treatments in dentistry. It has existed for many years as a restorative technique to help restore the health of patients’ teeth. Even then, many people are still hesitant about the procedure.
The source of dental anxiety when it comes to root canal treatments has to do with anticipated pain. However, you should know by now that root canal treatments in modern dentistry are virtually painless, due to advanced techniques of performing the process. Besides, you should read up on what the procedure entails, so you can amply prepare for the treatment.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
It is an oral procedure that involves treating the inside of a diseased tooth to save it. When dental decay occurs, the bacteria thereof breaches the different layers of teeth. The first layer of your tooth that gets damaged is the enamel, where a cavity forms. Eventually, the cavity creates a hole that allows the harmful bacteria to get into the internal layers of teeth.
When the infection gets to the root of your tooth, it damaged the nerve endings thereof. At this point, there are two treatment options available to treat your tooth. One includes permanently removing the diseased tooth to prevent infection to other healthy teeth. Other than that, a root canal procedure is a go-to process. The advantage of a root canal is that you get to keep your natural tooth.
What Does the Procedure Entail?
A root canal procedure also called an endodontic procedure, involves the following steps:
- Numbing – a root canal dentist first numbs your mouth with local anesthesia. The anesthesia ensures that your treatment will be pain-free.
- Drilling – the endodontist makes drills your tooth to remove the damaged part. This will remove all the infection on your tooth, leaving a hollow thereof.
- Cleaning – a root canal specialist cleans your tooth. This cleaning involves removing the internal parts of your tooth that are damaged. During this process, the dentist will suck out the damaged nerve endings, blood vessels, connective tissues, and other soft tissues. All bacteria present inside your tooth will also be removed.
- Filling and sealing – your dentist will shape the insides of your tooth. The filling will fill up the room that was formerly housing the soft tissues. Afterward, your dentist will seal your tooth, preventing the re-entry of bacteria thereof. Depending on the size of damage you incurred on your tooth, a dentist may need to place a dental crown over your tooth. The dental crown will help hold the structure of your tooth in place, as well as reinforce its strength for optimal functionality.
Who Needs Root Canal Treatment?
Many of the root canal symptoms are noted for patients with dental caries. Once you have a cavity on your tooth, the process of dental decay has begun. However, that is not the only instance where endodontic treatments are necessary. Some of the indicators that you need this treatment are:
- Chipped, cracked, or broken tooth.
- Increased tooth sensitivity when you eat hot and/or cold foods.
- Pain when chewing
- Abscessed tooth
Managing Your Teeth After Root Canal
After any oral treatment, how you care for your oral cavity impacts the success of your oral health long-term. With a root canal, the same applies. You have to be keen on how you clean your teeth, what you eat, among other factors. Some tips to help you manage include:
- Take soft foods at first – soon after your treatment soft foods are the best way to stay nourished without hurting your mouth. After a day or so, you should be feeling much better, and your mouth can sustain more solid and harder foods than before.
- Regulate temperature fluctuations – after your procedure, your tooth may be sensitive to temperature changes when you eat. It is why you must be cautious about regulating the temperature of what you eat to reduce discomfort. This should only last a few days after your treatment.
- Practice balanced chewing – do not overwhelm one side of your mouth with chewing. Try to strike a balance as you allow your tooth to fully recover.
- Practice excellent oral hygiene – do not slack, even for a day, after your procedure. The tooth can still get a cavity if you do not brush and floss as often as you should.