What You Need to Know About Root Canals

everything you need to know about root canals - ThorughDent Smiles Georgetown KY

A root canal is considered to be one of the most painful oral treatment. But at the same time, it is rather vital when the need for it occurs. 

Also referred to as endodontic therapy, root canal helps remove any infection that forms inside a tooth. Not only does it prevent further infection in the tooth, but it also prevents the same infection from spreading to other parts of your mouth. The treatment is done in the pulp of the tooth, the root canal.

About the treatment

There is a misconception that root canal is just the name of the treatment but actually refers to the part of the tooth which is treated. The pulp which is treated contain blood vessels, nerve tissues, along with other cells. The pulp is situated inside the root canal. 

The main function of the pulp is to provide nourishment to the tooth along with moisture to its surrounding area. It is the nerves in the pulp that are sensitive to both hot and cold temperatures.

The dental term for the treatment is endodontic therapy which translates to inside the tooth. But it has become popularly known as a root canal. 

Things you should know about root canal

We asked our friend, Dr. Matt Laurich, a dentist in Canton, MI, to share some insight about root canals. Dr. Laurich explains that the treatment completely removes the nerves from within the pulp. However, not everyone thinks the treatment is considered to be painful, it is actually pain-relieving.

The treatment is a more cost-effective option than teeth removal and replacement.

Steps to root canal treatment

Dr. Dennis Laurich a dental specialist at Laurich Dentistry explains the three-step process to root canal.

Step 1: Cleaning of the root canal

Anesthesia is generally used to sedate patients before the cleaning of the root canal takes place. In this step, everything inside the root canal is removed. A small access hole is made on the surface of the tooth. Small files are used to remove the diseased and dead pulp issues.

Step 2: Filling the root canal

Once the root canal is completely cleaned out, the dentist will shape and decontaminate the area. Tiny files and an irrigation solution is used for this. A rubber-like material is used to fill the root canal and an adhesive cement seals it completely.

The tooth no longer has nerves within the root canal so is considered dead. Which means that the patient will no longer feel any pain in it.

Step 3: Adding a crown

The tooth is now more vulnerable than before due to it not receiving the nourishment it needs. It will need to rely on the ligament that attaches to the bone of the tooth but even that won’t be enough as the tooth will become brittle after a period of time. 

To ensure the tooth doesn’t become brittle, a crown is placed so that the tooth doesn’t come in contact with food as you chew or bite down on them. 

Is the treatment painful?

Most people are fearful of the treatment. But anesthesia and an experienced dental professional can help make it relatively painless. Due to the fact that the tooth and surrounding areas are numbed throughout the procedure. 

The pain individuals face from the infection itself is going to be far more than the treatment. All the treatment does is alleviate the pain.  

There will be some tenderness in the treated area post-treatment but pain medication should help relieve that.

Alternative treatment

A root canal should always be the first option of treatment in case of infection as saving the natural tooth should be the first option. However, removal of the tooth and replacement be it with a denture or a dental implant is an option. But both are more expensive than root canal itself.