Root Canal Therapy:
Does the thought ‘get on your nerves?’ (Pun intended) 🙂
You may feel pretty apprehensive about your first treatment, or perhaps you want a bit more information before you decide to schedule an appointment. Either way, knowing what to expect is half the battle, and you may realize it’s not too much to stress over.
During this treatment, the pulp chamber nerve is removed. The pulp chamber is considered the space from inside the tooth to the root tip. These root tips are also referred to as canals. Human teeth can have anywhere from one to four canals, depending on the anatomy of the tooth.
Molars: two to four canals
Premolars: one to two canals
Cupids: one to two canals
Incisors: generally one canal
*The extra canals that branch out from the main canal are referred to as accessory canals.
How Is RCT Performed?
Therapy can be performed in one or more visits depending on the extent of the individual procedure. The dentist will advise you of the number of appointments, and whether a patient will need a prescription of antibiotics. Antibiotics are used in order to reduce inflammation and help remove the bad bacteria causing the infection. Sometimes the antibiotic is prescribed prior to the treatment.
1. Anesthetic is used to numb the tooth.
2. A digital x-ray is taken which helps the dentist gather information for the restoration.
3. A rubber dam is placed over the mouth of the patient. This protects the patient from the disinfectant solution used to clean the canal(s). The rubber dam also prevents the patient from swallowing other materials used during the process.
4. A small hole will be drilled in the tooth. This will be the access to the chamber to which the dentist will remove the decay. Antiseptic cleaning solution will be used to sterilize the existing tooth.
5. Tiny files will be used to remove the nerve and infected tissue. Another digital x-ray may be taken in order to see the progression of treatment. At this point it is crucial that all of the decay is removed. The dentist will spend most of the treatment time on this step.
6. Once the tooth has been cleaned, it will then be dried with tiny paper points.
7. When the tooth is completely dried, the dentist will place gutta percha into the tooth. Gutta percha is a rubber material designed to seal the inside of the tooth.
8. Any remaining decay will be removed from the tooth. Either a temporary of permeant filling will be used to close the tooth.
9. There’s a good chance that the dentist will recommend placing a crown on the tooth. During a root canal treatment, the nerve and blood supply have been taken away which will cause the tooth to eventually become brittle. In order to prevent cracks from occurring, a crown is used in most cases.
Root canal therapy can be treatment in situations, such as:
Tooth Decay: When decay invades the tooth and penetrates the enamel, dentin, and then into the pulp.
An Abscessed Tooth: A situation where a tooth is infected because of decay.
Trauma: If there is exposed nerve from trauma, such as a chipped or broken tooth.
Dying Tooth: When a tooth is dying or dead, it’s usually due to past trauma or aging.
Once the anesthetic has worn off, the patient may experience soreness from the procedure. Most of the time, a simple over-the-counter pain reliever is enough to relieve the discomfort. Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed to clear up any remaining infection. It generally takes just a few days to heal from root canal therapy. All in all, most patients find root canal therapy a very simple procedure with very little recovery time.
Need A Root Canal Treatment?
Off Island Dental