Root canal treatment is a dental treatment to save and preserve a decayed tooth. It involves removal of the live part of your tooth, and is considered a permanent solution to serious tooth decay and the pain that comes with it.
1) Signs that you need root canal
If you’re experiencing significant pain in the tooth, you could be a candidate for root canal treatment. Your dentist will examine you to establish the real cause of the pain and decide whether the procedure is necessary. Sensitivity to cold or heat, swelling gums and tooth discoloration are other signs that may necessitate root canal.
2) Why you need root canal
There are not many ways to save a decaying tooth or prevent the problem from spreading to other teeth.
Dentists have to choose between root canal, and removal and replacement of the affected tooth, with the latter being a longer, more complicated and costlier alternative with similar results to root canal treatment.
A root canal only removes the affected part of the tooth, preserving most of the structure needed for chewing.
3) What to expect during the procedure
Your dentist will use a local anesthesia to numb the tooth and flesh surrounding it. They will then place a rubber dam around it to keep the operative area dry.
A drill will be used to create an opening on your tooth whence the unwanted flesh will be scooped out. After removing the pulp, your dentist will wash the tooth using water and sodium hypochlorite before filling the hole and sealing the tooth using a substance called gutta percha.
Your dentist will inform you of any additional dental work and appointments. You may be needed to come back to have the treated tooth crowned.