Sometimes, bacteria enter the tooth pulp to cause an infection. When this happens, the patient has to undergo a root canal procedure to save their tooth. During the process, the dentist separates the infected pulp and seals the tooth to avert infection.
Dental health statistics reveal that around 25 million root canals happen every year. It means there are at least 287,000 root canal procedures done every week. The treatment has a high success rate of around 95%, whereas the patient satisfaction rate is about 90%.
Root canal therapy is a great way to save a highly damaged tooth. It prevents infection of the neighboring teeth, improves teeth aesthetics, and prevents jawbone degeneration. Please continue reading about root canal therapy and its step-by-step procedural guide. Doing so will help you prepare mentally if you are a candidate for this treatment. So, let’s get started.
Root canal therapy is a dental treatment that aims to relieve pain caused by an infected tooth. Here are a few symptoms that indicate you might need this treatment.
Root canal treatment removes the infected pulp and protects the tooth to restore its normal function. Other benefits of root canal treatment are:
The procedure usually requires 1-2 dental visits and starts with a radiograph of the tooth. It happens with the help of dental x-rays that reveal the extent of tooth damage. Also, it helps in knowing whether the patient is a potential candidate for root canal therapy. The step-by-step procedure guide for root canal therapy involves the following steps:
First, the dentist administers local anesthesia on the affected tooth and the surrounding gums. It ensures the area under treatment gets numb before further procedural steps. Also, the dentist might recommend sedation to alleviate the patient’s anxiety.
Afterward, a dental dam is placed over the area to help keep it isolated and dry during the procedure.
The next step involves pulp removal to eliminate infection and bacterial growth. A small opening is made in the tooth’s crown to access the pulp. Tiny dental instruments help remove the pulp. Afterward, the root canals and pulp chamber are disinfected, cleaned, and shaped accordingly.
Then, the root canals are filled with a biocompatible material and placed with adhesive cement. Then, a temporary filling seals the tooth to prevent bacteria from re-entering the tooth.
Most dentists recommend a dental crown for the final restoration. It not only looks visually appealing but also helps in bite restoration. Crowns are custom-made, and their fabrication usually takes 2-3 weeks. As a final step, the dentist removes the temporary filling and places the crown to restore the tooth.
For the first few days, mild tooth sensitivity can be experienced, which usually goes away within a week. Some patients also experience an uneven bite, swelling or inflammation, or even a reaction to the medication. A follow-up appointment is always good to schedule whichever symptoms you may encounter.
Experiencing toothache or jaw swelling can be scary. Fortunately, root canal therapy helps you feel better quickly. Prompt treatment can help you save your tooth and prevent the spread of infection. It relieves pain and enables you to get back to everyday life. If you experience any of the symptoms stated above, be ready to visit your dental health professional.