Root canals are a common dental procedure that many people need at some point in their lives. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about root canals, including what they are, why they are needed, the procedure itself, aftercare and recovery, risks and complications, cost, and alternatives.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that removes infected or damaged tissue from inside a tooth. The inside of a tooth is filled with a soft tissue called the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. When the pulp becomes infected or damaged, it can cause a lot of pain and can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. A root canal removes the damaged or infected pulp, cleans the inside of the tooth, and fills it with a material to prevent further infection.
When is a Root Canal Needed?
A root canal is needed when the pulp inside a tooth becomes infected or damaged. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including:
- Deep decay
- A cracked or chipped tooth
- Trauma to the tooth
- Repeated dental procedures on the same tooth
- Symptoms of a Root Canal
- Symptoms of a root canal can include:
- Severe tooth pain
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Swelling and tenderness in the gums
- Discoloration of the tooth
- A pimple or abscess on the gums
Procedure of a Root Canal
A root canal is usually performed by a dentist or an endodontist, a specialist in treating the inside of teeth. The procedure typically takes two or more visits, depending on the severity of the infection or damage.
Preparing for a Root Canal
Before the procedure, your dentist will take an X-ray of the affected tooth to determine the extent of the damage. You will also receive anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth.
Steps of a Root Canal Procedure
The steps of a root canal procedure include:
Your dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth with local anesthesia. This will help you feel more comfortable during the procedure.
Removing Damaged Tissue
Your dentist will create an opening in the top of the tooth and remove the damaged or infected pulp. They will then clean and shape the inside of the tooth to prepare it for filling.
Cleaning and Shaping the Root Canal
Your dentist will use special instruments to clean and shape the inside of the root canal. This will help remove any remaining bacteria and prepare the tooth for filling.
Filling the Root Canal
Your dentist will fill the inside of the tooth with a material called gutta-percha. This material helps seal the root canal and prevent further infection.
Adding a Dental Crown or Filling
After the root canal, your tooth may be weakened and more prone to fracture. Your dentist may recommend adding a dental crown or filling to help protect the tooth and restore its function.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
So you are wondering how long it may take to get a root canal taken care of? Well that depends on a few things. A typical root canal can take from 30 to 90 minutes. However, if there are deep infections or multiple issues it could take a little longer. However, the average for a root canal seems to be about 30 to 90 minutes to complete.
In conclusion a root canal like most dental proceedures is not a fun experience. However, if you pick a well qualified
Endodontist it should be a much more easy process to get through.