Have you ever been advised by your dentist to undergo a root canal treatment? You might be wondering what a root canal is, especially if it is the first time you are undergoing such a procedure.
You may be skeptical and apprehensive about the process because you do not know what you are getting into. Nevertheless, you should not worry because there are millions of people like you who are about to undergo the same treatment too, as well as many others who have already gone through it and survived.
We will try to answer the question “what is root canal?” in this article along with other important details about this unique procedure so that you understand what you are getting into and shed your inhibitions and apprehensions.
What Is A Root Canal?
So what is a root canal job? A root canal job or treatment is a type of endodontic treatment where the treatment is carried out inside of your tooth. To understand it better, a root canal is a treatment aimed at repairing and saving a tooth that is damaged due to decay or infection.
It is known as root canal treatment because the term “root canal” is often used to describe the natural cavity present at the center of your tooth. There is a soft area in the root canal called pulp or pulp chamber. Also, the nerves of the tooth lie within the root canal.
The procedure of a root canal job will center on the cleaning and sealing of the inside of your tooth after the nerve and pulp have been removed. If you do not undergo the said treatment as advised by your dentist, the tissue of the nearby healthy tooth will also be affected and gets infected, in addition to the formation of an abscess.
How Long Does A Root Canal Procedure Take?
Many people wonder “how long does a root canal take?” Unfortunately, it is not a one-stop shop at a dentist because root canal needs one or more visits and must be performed by a professional dentist or endodontist. During your initial visit, the dentist will order an x-ray to see your root canal, its shape as well as the presence of any signs of infection surrounding the bone.
Local anesthesia will be applied to help numb the area though it may no longer be necessary because the nerve is dead. However, dentists still apply an anesthetic to help relax their patients who are undergoing the treatment. A rubber dam or sheet of rubber will be placed around the tooth to keep the area dry and saliva-free during the treatment process. It will be followed by drilling of a hole to better access the site.
The dentist will remove the pulp with the bacteria, the dead nerve tissue as well as other debris and particles from your tooth. This process is called the cleaning out where root canal files are being used. These records, each with increasing diameter, are then placed into the hole and worked down the full length of your tooth to scrub and scrape the sides of your root canal.
Sealing Of Tooth
Water or sodium hypochlorite may be used from time to time to wash away debris. After cleaning, the tooth will be sealed. However, some dentists prefer to wait for a week or so before sealing the hole in your tooth. In the case of an infection, for example, the dentist may apply medication on your tooth first to treat it.
If the root canal is not finished during the same day that it was opened, your dentist will put a temporary filling in the outside hole of the tooth to shut out saliva and food. During your next appointment, your dentist will put a sealer paste and Gulla Percha (rubber compound) on your tooth’s root canal to fill the insides. To fill the outside access hole, another filling will be placed.
The last step is the evaluation of the procedure as well as other dental works that your dentist might include. Since a root canal has a large filling because of too much decay, the restoration process needs to be protected to prevent any breakage and to restore its functions. Your dentist will discuss what other steps you need to take for this.