Tuesday, 9 February 2021

What To Expect During A Root Canal Treatment


What is a root canal treatment?

A root canal treatment is a dental procedure carried out to preserve a damaged or diseased tooth by removing the pulp of the tooth. When a tooth gets damaged either due to tooth decay, fracture, or a failed filling, sometimes the pulp gets infected and may even die. 

The pulp is the living part of the tooth containing the blood vessels and nerves. To preserve the tooth, the root canal procedure is done to remove the infected pulp from the root canals and replace it with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha.

How to know if you may require a root canal

  • Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold stimuli, even after the cause has been removed
  • A chipped or cracked tooth
  • Severe pain when biting or chewing
  • Swollen gums
  • Deep tooth decay

What happens during a root canal treatment?

A local anesthetic will be given to numb the area and prevent pain. An opening is created in the tooth to expose the pulp. The diseased pulp is then removed and the root canals are cleaned and disinfected. 

The root canals are filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. This is sealed with dental cement. The dentist then restores the tooth for aesthetics and function. This treatment may require more than one dental visit.

Is a root canal painful?

A local anesthetic is applied so it is not painful. But, there will be numbness in the area until the anesthetic wears off. There may be mild discomfort for a few days after the procedure.

How long does a root canal take?

A minor case can take between 30 to 60 minutes. However, you should prepare for it to take up to 90 mins for a complex case. About two to three visits are required to complete the treatment.

Is a crown required after a root canal?

After root canal treatment, a tooth becomes fragile because of the infection, fracture and tooth drilling. A crown will help to protect the tooth and make it more durable. 

Sometimes, if the indication for the root canal was a long standing decayed tooth, the tooth may be discoloured. A crown will restore the original colour to match the remaining teeth. 

Also, a crown will prevent tooth sensitivity that may arise after the treatment from the remaining nerves.

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