A root canal is a procedure done when there is severe damage or infection to your tooth. This is a lengthy procedure that can save your tooth instead of extracting it. It is done by removing the infected pulp inside the tooth and then cleans the canals for the tooth before filling up the void again.
The pulp is the tissue that contains nerves and blood vessels that are responsible for the growth of teeth. A fully grown tooth, however, can survive without the pulp, making the root canal procedure possible.
The advantage of having a root canal is that the tooth stays where it is. Therefore nothing would change in the way you chew and bite. Since the tooth is preserved, it won’t leave a gap that could strain the other teeth. You also won’t need a false tooth, a bridge or an implant.
How is root canal performed?
- Your dentist will inject a local anesthesia to numb the tooth.
- Your dentist will drill a hole in your tooth to access the canals.
- Using small files, he will clear out the infected pulp and abscess from the canals. The files will also be used to reshape the canal. He will spray water on your tooth to wash out any remaining pulp.
- Once the canal is clean, your dentist will fill it with a filling material. This is only temporary as you will need to have a crown installed after a few weeks.
You need to take care of your teeth and gums with regular brushing and flossing. Lack of oral hygiene is probably the reason why you had a root canal in the first place. To prevent it from happening again and to preserve your repaired tooth, you should be more careful. Don’t forget to visit the dentist at least twice a year.