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What does root canal treatment consist of?

Root canal treatment has emerged as an extremely popular dental procedure in recent times, in treating badly decayed teeth. After all, root canal treatment is a great alternative for a complete tooth extraction once the decay reaches the pulp. It basically involves the removal of the infected pulp, such that the decay cannot spread any further.

How do professionals carry out a root canal?

Do keep in mind that for a root canal procedure, you should only visit a highly skilled dentist or endodontist. Here is how they perform a root canal treatment:

  1. Preparations

In the preparation stage, your dentist would take an X-Ray of your teeth to check out the shape of your root canals and see if there are any infections in the surrounding bone structure. As the nerve in the infected tooth would be already dead, there may not be any need for anesthesia. However, in most cases, dentists carry out local anesthesia to help the patient feel more comfortable. Your dentist would also use a rubber dam so that saliva doesn’t reach the area during the procedure.

  1. Cleaning

The next stage involves cleaning out the decayed and rotten elements. However, your dentist would first have to drill access into the affected teeth. Once the pulp of your tooth is accessible, it would be removed along with the decayed nerve tissue and all the bacteria present. For the cleaning, dentists scrub the sides of the root canal using root canal files. In the end, they would flush away debris using water or sodium hypochlorite.

  1. Sealing

The dentist would now coat the area using topical antibiotics to prevent an infection. In case an infection is already there, you would need special medication. Once the root canals are free of infection, your dentist would use a sealer paste and a rubber-like material to fill and seal your tooth. Ultimately, he would use a temporary material to seal the small opening at the top of the tooth and protect the root canals for saliva.

  1. Restoration

If you end up needing root canal treatment, the chances are high that your tooth has suffered a lot of damage and decay. In this case, you might need to get the affected tooth restored to protect against further damage and to make the tooth functional again. Your dentist might recommend placing a crown or a post over the tooth for effective restoration. If the tooth is usually visible when you smile or talk, the crown would also improve your facial appearance greatly.

Recover after root canal treatment

Root canal treatment usually requires a short recovery period. You would need only a day to get back to your normal routine. However, until you get the tooth covered with a crown or until your tooth heals up, avoid using that tooth to chew.

Once the anesthesia wears off, your teeth and gums might feel numb for a while. It is also normal for the gums to swell after a root canal treatment. While your dentist would prescribe some regular medications to help with the pain, you can always call him in case the pain persists or gets unbearable.

Make sure to follow up with your dentist at the scheduled date. An X-Ray should reveal if the infection is still there. Once it has healed up completely, the dentist would replace the temporary filling with a permanent one. It is after this stage that you may opt to get a crown placed for restoration. As long as you get the root canal treatment done at a reputed and reliable dental clinic, there shouldn’t be a reason to worry about any major complications.

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