Each tooth has a root canal system, located at the centre holding dental pulp tissue, containing nerves and blood vessels. This system can get infected if bacteria enter it through neglected cavities or cracks. This infection may also extend further to cause dental abscess resulting in pain and swelling. Root canal treatment involves removal of infected pulp tissue and filling and sealing the canals. Therefore root canal treatment is the most ideal procedure to save the infected tooth from removal which later necessitates replacement with a false tooth or bridge.
Who Performs Root Canal /Endodontic Treatment
Some dentists who are qualified to do a root canal treatment will perform the procedure themselves; others will refer you to an Endodontist, who is specialized in the dental pulp or nerve treatment.
In the cases of young children, it is best to be done by a pediatric dentist who is trained and experienced in working with dental issues in children.
What Happens During a Root Canal Treatment?
- You are given local anaesthesia to freeze the tooth
- The tooth is protected from saliva and bacteria by placing rubber dam
- A hole is drilled into the tooth to access the damaged area of dental pulp tissue
- The damaged pulp/nerve is removed by cleaning the root canal system
- The root canal is filled and sealed
- The cavity of the tooth is filled with a temporary filling material
What Happens After the Root Canal Treatment?
Most root canal treatments are completed within one to two appointments. However, the affected area may remain sore for a week or two.
A follow-up appointment must be scheduled for check-up and placement of permanent restoration or a crown, whichever is appropriate.
Most of root canal treatments are successful; however, the possibility of failure should be kept in mind. If the pain persists in a strong manner, a second root canal treatment need to be scheduled to further clean up the root canal system. There are some cases, even a through root canal treatment fail to resolve the pain and infection, eventually necessitate removal of tooth.
Root Canal Surgery
This procedure is taken up if a regular root canal treatment has not been successful in relieving the pain and infection. During the surgery, the root is closely inspected for any cracks and fractures; the remnant of damaged pulp tissue is cleaned up by cutting the root tip and the persisting infection is cleared up to ensure proper healing.