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What Is a Root Canal and How Do I Know When I Need It?

What Is a Root Canal and How Do I Know When I Need It?

A root canal is an essential and increasingly common dental procedure that restores normal dental function to a diseased tooth or tooth socket. Before the tooth is made usable again, the canal is first cleaned, infection is removed, and filled with a special sealant material to prevent it from leaking. 

If you suffer from unbearable tooth pain, you may have wondered what a root canal is and whether you need one. 

Here’s everything you need to know about root canal treatment.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure that removes the diseased portion of the tooth and restores it to health. 

A tooth comprises three layers: the enamel, the dentin, and the pulp. The pulp is the portion of the tooth surrounded by blood vessels. When a tooth is diseased, the pulp becomes infected, and the blood vessels serving the tooth become inflamed. The tooth may darken or discolor as it suffers from anemia.

A root canal is a procedure that removes the diseasing portion of a tooth and seals the canal. The root canal is then filled with a sealant to prevent infection. The most common reason for a root canal is when a tooth is cracked has a cavity, or has an infection in the pulp.

How is a root canal performed?

Before a root canal treatment, you will receive an anesthetic to numb your teeth and gums. It would help if you were relaxed and calm when you have a root canal treatment. The dentist will then clean your teeth thoroughly with antibacterial products and an antiseptic solution. Once your teeth are clean, the dentist will use an explorer or camera to view your teeth and determine where to make the incision.

How long does a root canal last?

The length of time a root canal lasts depends on the patient. If the pulp in your tooth is healthy, your tooth will re-grow the natural tooth root, and the tooth will not need a root canal. If the pulp is toxic or has become infected, your tooth may need a root canal. After the root canal treatment is done, your tooth will re-grow a new root, and the old root canal will last a lifetime.

The length of the procedure depends on the number of teeth that need treatment. The average root canal procedure takes approximately one hour to complete.

When should I get a root canal treatment?

A root canal is usually a procedure that a dentist recommends when you have tooth pain unrelated to a cracked tooth or another dental problem. The tooth pain may be intense and unbearable, mainly when eating hard or crunchy foods or beverages. You may also experience toothache when the pain comes from the back teeth closest to the brain.

You should also get a root canal if you have a cavity that has not been filled or is too large to fill quickly. These are signs that a root canal is necessary. 

The most important benefit of root canal therapy is that it can save your natural teeth. If you do not have a root canal treatment, your tooth may need to be extracted and replaced with an artificial tooth. And a root canal can save you from this costly procedure.

What precautions do I need to take after a root canal treatment?

After the procedure, you should avoid biting on hard or sharp objects. You should also avoid chewing on the tooth that has been treated. Keep your mouth clean and dry, and avoid hot or cold foods or liquids for some period. 

We at Smile Select Dental understand your anxieties about getting a root canal treatment and offer our best services to ensure you have a hassle-free and safe procedure. To know more about the treatment, please contact our office today. 

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