Many people associate root canal treatment with excruciating pain and discomfort. However, the pain you feel is usually caused by infection or injury to the tooth, not the root canal treatment itself. Root canal treatment is actually performed to eliminate the pain.
What is a Root Canal?
Inside the tooth, we have a pulp (the living tissue that keeps the tooth alive) that connects to the root canals. The pulp is made up of connective tissues, nerves, and blood vessels. When the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread throughout the root canal causing pain commonly felt as a toothache. Infections can be caused by severe tooth decay, trauma to the tooth or a crack in the tooth. Any of these instances can lead to acute inflammation known as an abscess. An abscess causes tissues in the tooth to swell. Symptoms of abscess rarangerom a mild, dull ache to a severe, throbbing ache. Once an abscess has formed, root canal treatment becomes necessary to remove the infection.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment can usually be performed by your dentist over 2 appointments. In some more difficult cases an endodontic specialist may be required. Before the treatment begins the dentist will take an x-ray to determine which tooth is causing the infection. After this your dentist will numb the tooth with local anaesthetic. Once the anaesthetic has taken affect you should not feel any pain. The dentist will then begin accessing the pulp chamber by removing any decay or making a small hole in the biting surface of the tooth. The pulp and nerve are removed from the tooth using tiny files. The canals are then shaped and prepared to be filled at the next appointment. Your dentist will also measure the length of the root canals using an x-ray. The dentist will then place a medicine inside the canals to kill any infection remaining. Once the nerve and pulp are removed the tooth should no longer cause any pain.
In the second appointment, the tooth is disinfected and the dentist will begin to fill the empty canals where the nerves once lived. After the root canal filling is in place the dentist will begin filling the cavity in the tooth with a permanent filling material. In most cases, it will be recommended that the tooth is crowned after the root canal treatment. A crown is a cap that covers the tooth and protects the integrity of the remaining tooth structure.
There is no need to be apprehensive about root canal treatment. Most people become anxious because they lack the correct information regarding root canal treatment and the procedures involved. We believe knowledge creates confidence in patients as they know what to expect. If you need an Emergency Dentist Pimpama call our friendly team today!