Of all the dental procedures out there, perhaps the most feared is the root canal. This is because people often imagine it as an extremely painful procedure, even akin to medieval torture! It’s true that root canals were painful in the past, but fortunately today, modern root canal treatment are virtually painless thanks to anaesthesia.
But since people still fear what they don’t understand, we’re here to dispel myths about root canal treatment and explain exactly what to expect if you undergo this procedure.
What is a root canal?
First, we need to explain what a ‘root’ is. A tooth is made up of two parts: the crown (the part of the tooth you can see) and the root (the part you can’t see). The root is just like the root of a plant. It extends down into the jaw and keeps the tooth firmly in place.
Every tooth has at least one root, and some teeth have two or three roots. For example, the lower molars typically have two roots and the upper molars usually have three roots.
Inside a root are ‘root canals’, which are like tunnels that run from the bottom of the tooth right up to the top. The canals contain the tooth’s blood vessels and nerves. Canals are important because they supply the tooth with everything it need to stay healthy.
What would I need root canal treatment?
Sometimes a tooth’s pulp gets infected with bacteria. Without treatment, an infected tooth usually dies. What’s more, the infection can spread to the nearby gum and bone. There may be a painful abscess (which is an infection between the tooth and gum).
There are two dental procedures to deal with an infection tooth:
- Root canal treatment
- Removal of the whole tooth and then replacement with a dental implant, a bridge or dentures
Both techniques are excellent at relieving the pain, but with root canal treatment, you get to retain your original tooth.
What is root canal treatment?
Today, root canal treatment is a routine and virtually painless procedure. The steps in the procedure are as follows:
- First, the dentist numbs the tooth with an anaesthetic. This will ensure you feel very little discomfort during the procedure.
- The dentist will make a hole in the top of the tooth to get access to the inside of the tooth.
- The dentist will then use a file to clean out the infection out of the root canals.
- The dentist will then fill the canals with a material like tough plastic or rubber that will prevent the canals from getting infected again.
- Finally, the dentist places a temporary filling on top of the tooth to close to hole. Later, the dentist will replace the temporary filling with a permanent filling or a crown.
Hopefully you’ve seen that root canal treatment is not as bad as people make it out to be. We stress that it’s a relatively straightforward procedure and you won’t feel much discomfort. If you like to discuss root canal treatment with us, then please don’t hesitate to call or email us today.Leave a reply