If you’ve been told by your dentist that you need to have a root canal performed, you likely have a lot of questions about the procedure. It’s a good idea to get these questions answered before having the procedure performed. This way, you can have confidence throughout the entire process.
If you have pain in your tooth, a likely cause could be an infection. The infection is located within the pulp of a tooth. This is the inside area of your tooth where the nerve is housed. When an infection is present, it can put pressure on the nerve. This can result in serious pain.
Your doctor will prescribe having a root canal performed if the infection has killed the pulp of your tooth. This surgery is intended to get rid of the infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the gums and underlying tissues. This can create even more pain in the mouth.
Numbing The Area
On the day you have your root canal performed, you’ll be given a local anesthetic to keep the procedure pain-free. This anesthetic works to numb the area around the tooth that is being given the root canal procedure. Next, your dentist will drill an access hole into the tooth canal area.
Drilling An Access Hole
When you’re having a root canal performed on one of your front teeth, the access hole is placed behind them. If you’re having a root canal performed on a back tooth, the access hole is drilled through the biting surface. This difference simply comes down to where the root canals are located in the different teeth types.
Removing The Infection
Via the access hole that was created, your dentist will start to remove the dead and infected material in the tooth canal. Remember that your nerves are being removed from the canal chamber because the infection has either killed or is currently killing them. After they’re removed, that tooth can no longer feel pain. Next, an antiseptic is utilized to disinfection the remaining area in the pulp.
Sealing Off The Canals
To ensure the structural integrity of your tooth, your dentist will fill in the canal with a sealer. This is done right after they use specialized flexible instruments to clean out the inside of the canals. The sealer will close off the access hole to the tooth’s root canal. The sealer that is used will typically be soft to start with so it will mold into the right shape. Then, your dentist will utilize a thermo-gun to heat the filling to a solid.
After the access hole and canals are filled, they must be blocked off. This can be done with a permanent filling or crown. The idea is to help restore the structural integrity of the tooth and prevent the infection from getting back into the root canal of the tooth.
Having a root canal performed is nothing new. Many people have them done every year to help fix painful infections they have with their teeth. If you’re getting ready to undergo your very first root canal, hopefully, you have a better idea of how the procedure goes so you feel more comfortable having it done.