What is a Root Canal Treatment?
When you mention a root canal, people tend to imagine copious amounts of pain associated with this type of dental treatment. However, the good news is that advancements in technology and specialty training means that painful root canal treatments are a thing of the past.
A root canal treatment or Endodontic treatment is required when the inside of a tooth, known as the pulp chamber, becomes infected as a result of deep decay or trauma. The pulp chamber contains dental pulp, blood vessels and nerve tissue, which control the feelings of hot and cold temperatures and is associated with pain. Typical symptoms of an infected tooth will include sharp or intense pain when chewing food or a lingering pain after eating, a dull ache, and tender swollen gums surrounding the infected tooth.
Who Performs a Root Canal?
A Root Canal procedure is best performed by a Specialist Endodontist, whose sole job is to ensure your natural tooth is saved. They undergo three additional years of specialized training in order to properly diagnose, treat and re-treat root canals that have become infected. General Dentists are also able to perform a root canal treatment; however, they are not as equipped or skilled as an Endodontist, who usually performs upwards of 20 root canal treatments per week.
Since teeth often have multiple root canals, which all contain infected pulp, an Endodontist uses specialty surgical equipment such as high-magnification microscopes to effectively see even the smallest of root canals and treat them with the highest precision and success rates.
How is a Root Canal Treatment Performed?
Before treatment, the patient will undergo a series of x-rays in order to show the detailed anatomy of the infected tooth’s root structure. This shows the Endodontist the number of root canals that need to be cleaned and filled to properly save the root of the tooth.
After administering local anesthesia, the Endodontist will isolate the infected tooth using rubber dam, which is a thin sheet of latex that establishes a safe zone during surgery and aids in infection control. The tissues surrounding the infected tooth are therefore concealed from the dental procedure, which improves treatment efficacy.
By drilling an opening in the top of the tooth, the infected pulp is carefully removed and the root canal is completely cleaned and thoroughly disinfected. The Endodontist fills the root canals with a filling material, which seals the tooth and restores it back to its natural function.
How to Prevent Getting a Root Canal Treatment
Preventing a root canal treatment is entirely possible! The best way to do this is by maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, that consists of brushing twice daily and flossing properly, and visiting your dentist for regular checkups. Treating dental cavities at the earliest is the key to avoid deep root infections, hence visiting a dentist once every 6 months will make sure all your cavities are dealt with in a timely manner. During your regular appointments your dentist will also check your old teeth fillings for defects or secondary decay, which when ignored may cause infection of the tooth, leading to root canal treatment.
So, if you are experiencing tooth pain or any of the mentioned symptoms, it is best to visit your local Endodontist to make sure cavities are kept at bay. As the saying goes, there is nothing as good as a natural tooth!
At Dr. Joy Dental Clinic, saving your natural tooth is our first priority when treating infected root canals. If you are experiencing any pain and discomfort or have noticeable signs of infection, please Contact Us on 800-DRJOY (37569) to book a consultation with our Specialist Endodontist or click here.