Root Canal Procedure
If a tooth is damaged or severely decayed, there is a risk of the root pulp of the tooth becoming infected. Once this is the case, an abscess can form, and the tooth may become so infected that it is no longer viable. At this point, the tooth will need to be extracted. In order to heal a tooth with an infected root pulp, and to ensure the patient’s overall oral health, a dentist will need to perform a root canal therapy procedure.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy (also referred to as a “root canal”) is a procedure that involves the removal of infected tooth pulp to ensure the health of the tooth and the patient’s oral health overall. Root canal therapy is required when a cracked, damaged or decayed tooth leads to the damage, infection or death of the root pulp of the tooth.
Signs of Root Pulp Infection
In order to better understand whether or not you have a root pulp infection, there are a few different signs that you can look out for. These signs include:
- Pain and discomfort when chewing.
- Severe tooth pain.
- A changing in the color of the tooth (often grey).
- Swelling of the nearby gums.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Don’t wait until your next checkup and cleaning. If the pain is more severe, consider visiting an emergency dentist.
Root Canal Therapy Procedure
Once you experience the above symptoms and set an appointment with your dentist for a consultation, they will take a look at the affected tooth to diagnose the issue. There is a likelihood that they will take x-rays to better understand the extent of the damage. Once they have determine that the pulp of your tooth has become infected, they will start the root canal therapy procedure, or set an appointment for a good time to perform the procedure. The procedure begins with the dentist administering local anesthesia. This will decrease or eliminate any pain or discomfort. The dentist will then create an opening in the tooth that will give them access to the pulp chamber and root canals. Your dentist will clean out the pulp chamber and canals, and remove the infected pulp. A rubbery material is then inserted in the canals, and is cemented in place. Finally, the tooth is restored (which may involve the placement of a dental crown).
Avoiding Future Root Pulp Infection
The best form of treatment for any oral healthcare issue is prevention. By brushing, flossing and rinsing twice a day, you will significantly decrease the chances of a root pulp infection. You’ll also want to visit your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning to ensure the ongoing health of your teeth and gums. It is during this checkup that your dentist can diagnose any decay before it leads to root pulp infection.
If you suspect you may have a root pulp infection, set an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
More About Root Canals : What is a Root Canal?