In simple terms, a root canal is a dental treatment that is designed to save and repair a tooth rather than extracting the tooth. In these cases the tooth has more than likely been damaged by trauma, tooth decay, and / or infection. If the tooth cannot be saved and must be extracted then the dentist will usually recommend a replacement tooth using either a dental implant, bridge, or partial denture. A root canal treatment may require more than one visit to the dentist and should be performed by only by an experienced and well trained dentist or endodontist.
Since the tooth nerve and pulp chamber lies within the root canal, the nerve and the pulp both are removed during the procedure of the root canal treatment. The inside portion of the tooth is then cleaned and filled with sealant. Fortunately, the nerve of the tooth does not play an important role in the functioning other than providing the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will does not really have much effect on the day-to-day functioning of the tooth. Cavity and infections are the most common cause of root canal therapy. Cavities in your tooth can progress to the pulp (inner core of the tooth) and that may require root canal therapy to save the functionality of the tooth. What Does The Procedure Involve? The first step involves consultation and assessment by the dentist. Your dentist will first perform a thorough examination of the infected tooth and take an x-ray to determine whether a root canal treatment is required or not. Local anesthesia will be used on the tooth that is to be treated before beginning the treatment. An opening is made from the top of the tooth and pulp is cleaned from the root canal and the pulp chamber. After that, this opening is sterilized and sealed by using biocompatible material. Adhesive cement is used to seal the root canal completely. Once the dentist feels satisfied with the results of the root canal treatment, he will begin performing the restoration process. Restoration of the tooth is done by placing a foundation build up. Then a dental crown is placed over the root canal treated tooth to restore its functionality. Root canals have been one of the most generally feared dental procedures because of the experiences of friends and family. However, with modern tools and techniques root canal treatments usually are no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled. The painful or traumatic experiences of the past are now dental history.
The dentist who specializes in the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases of human dental pulp or nerve of the tooth should be considered over general practice dentists. The choice of the dentist to use will depend upon the level of complexity of the tooth damage.