Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure used to treat a tooth that has become infected or inflamed in the soft inner tissue, called the pulp, that lies within the tooth's root canals.
The procedure involves removing the infected or inflamed pulp and then cleaning and disinfecting the root canals to remove any remaining bacteria or debris. Once the canals are cleaned, they are filled with a material called gutta-percha, which seals the canals and prevents further infection.
A root canal treatment is typically performed under local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth. The procedure may take one or more visits, depending on the complexity of the case. After the root canal is completed, a crown or other restoration may be placed over the tooth to protect it and restore its function.
Root canal treatment is a common and highly effective way to save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted due to infection or inflammation. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can help to relieve pain and restore oral health.
Here is a general overview of how the procedure is done:
The length of time required to complete a root canal treatment depends on several factors, including the location and complexity of the affected tooth, the extent of the damage or infection, and the individual patient's unique anatomy and response to treatment. In general, the procedure can take anywhere from one to three hours to complete, but most cases can be done in one or two appointments. The dentist will provide specific instructions on how to care for the tooth following the procedure to ensure proper healing and recovery.
Root canal treatment is typically recommended for individuals who have a tooth that is infected or inflamed in the pulp tissue inside the tooth. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including tooth decay, trauma to the tooth, or a cracked or broken tooth.
Some common symptoms of a tooth that may require root canal treatment include severe toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, swelling or tenderness in the gums, and discoloration of the tooth.
If left untreated, an infected or inflamed tooth can lead to serious complications, including abscesses, bone loss, and tooth loss. Root canal treatment can help to save the affected tooth and prevent these complications from occurring.
Your dentist or endodontist can determine if root canal treatment is necessary for your specific case through an examination and X-rays.
The benefits of root canal treatment include:
Overall, root canal treatment can provide relief from pain and improve oral health, while preserving the natural tooth and restoring its function. It is a common and highly effective procedure that can help to prevent the need for more invasive and expensive dental treatments down the line.