Root canal treatment is required when nerve tissue inside the teeth degenerates. Without root canal treatment, the infection in the tooth pulp can result in an abscess, which in turn can cause damage to the jawbone. You will need a root canal to save your tooth and to ensure that the tissue around the root of the tooth remains healthy and free from inflammation. There are several reasons why your tooth may become irritated and inflamed, such as: deep decay, big fillings, trauma to the tooth, a chipped tooth or even repeated dental work.
You may need a root canal if a tooth is causing you pain or if the gums adjacent to the tooth are tender and swollen. Another symptom is if the tooth appears discoloured and has become extra sensitive to heat and cold. If these symptoms reveal inflamed and infected pulp inside the tooth then the dentist may recommend a root canal procedure.
The procedure takes place in four steps. First, the dentist studies the x-ray of the infected tooth and then administers a local anaesthetic. Then, the dentist removes the inflamed nerve tissue through an opening in the crown of the tooth. The root canal is cleaned properly so that no debris or bacteria is left behind. This will ensure that infection and tissue swelling does not happen again. In the second step of the root canal procedure, the dentist will seal off the cleaned root canal cavity. This is to prevent fluids and bacteria from entering the cavity. In the third step the root canal is filled with gutta-percha and adhesive cement mixture. In the fourth and final step, a crown is placed on the sealed tooth which allows the tooth to function normally.
After completion of root canal therapy you might feel some discomfort for few days following the treatment. To alleviate the discomfort you can follow the dentist’s recommendation on taking an over the counter pain medication. In more extreme cases the dentist may prescribe an antibiotic and prescription-strength pain reliever to help reduce any remaining infection.