What a Root Canal Surgery Is All About

When you hear the word root canal, you may not be able to maintain a pleasant smile on your face because these words are often associated with the pain and discomfort that tend to remain there with you after the root canal treatment. But the matter of fact is that root canal has not remained that painful. The new tools and technology has made it pretty easier for the dentists to carry out a root canal surgery without hurting the patient.

What is root canal surgery?

People use the word “root canal” for root canal surgery. Root canal is actually a natural cavity or, more precisely, a chamber inside the tooth. This chamber contains vessels and nerves that keep the tooth alive. This composition of nerves and vessels is most commonly referred to as tooth pulp.

Now, a root canal surgery mainly aims at treating a tooth with infection in the tooth pulp. This infection can quickly kill the tooth pulp. At this point, the infection can travel towards the tooth’s root area and cause severe pain and several oral and overall health conditions which can be even life threatening. The infection in the tooth’s root area is most commonly known as abscess.

Before this infection can cause abscess, it needs to be removed from the tooth. This removal is done through root canal therapy. Root canal therapy is mainly aimed at providing care to the teeth whose inner portion gets damaged due to chips, cavities or cracks.

Signs you may need root canal surgery

In some specific cases, the patient may not even know that they are in the need of root canal surgery and they just get surprised when their dentists tell them about it. However, there are some clear signs which may tell you that you require a root canal surgery in order to save your tooth. Some of those signs are worth mentioning here.

  • Severe pain in a tooth when it is used in the chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold getting prolonged
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Swelling and tenderness in the gums
  • A persistent pimple on the gums

What to expect during a root canal treatment?

Just knowing what you need to expect from a root canal treatment can help you getting ready for the treatment. This way, you will not have any unpleasant “surprise” before, during and after the treatment.

The first step of this process is the analysis of problem. The dentist will run a dental x-ray test to determine the level of damage. This x-ray report is also going to help the dentist decide whether or not you are going to require the root canal surgery.

When you are on the dentist’s chair, you will be given anesthesia which mainly numbs the area around the tooth. In a number of situations, the patient may not need any anesthesia because the nerves are already dead. But this anesthesia helps the patient to get relaxed.

A hole is then drilled through the chewing side of the tooth. This hole leads to the pulp chamber where the infection resides. This hole is made to pull out the infected nerves. If the infection has formed an abscess in the root area, the hole is made through the length of the tooth all the way down to the root area.

After the infection is removed, the dentist is going to fill the empty chamber with a material which is mainly known as gutta-percha. The chewing side of the tooth is then sealed with the help of filling. If the tooth is severely damaged, a crown may be needed.

A root canal treatment may get extended to more than one dental visit. Between the two visits, you may have to live with a temporary filling. During this time, you will have to make sure that you are not using this tooth for chewing your foods.