Root canal, as its name suggests, is the treatment to preserve the tooth when its pulp is likely to be damaged or is damaged by decay. Root canal treatment is recommended as the best option to save the tooth, which would otherwise need to be removed. During a root canal, the pulp is removed from the center of a tooth. The dentist then fills the pulp cavity to prevent development of infection in the pulp, which may spread to neighboring teeth. Also referred to as endodontic treatment, root canal involves removal of the pulp, which is then sterilised and filled to prevent further infection.

Need for Root canal treatment

Root canal treatment is advised when there is an infection into an abscessed tooth. This procedure can relieve toothache, stop infection, and promote healing. Often an untreated cavity may cause pulp infection. The tooth decay might erode the dentin and enamel, causing inflammation. As a result, blood supply to the enamel and pulp is infected, which causes infection in the pulp. The pulp cannot heal properly due to reduced blood supply.

Another reason for endodontic treatment can be irreparable damage to the pulp, which might be due to a fractured tooth or trauma. Sometimes even dental procedures may hurt the pulp. Then root canal remains the only option to prevent infection.

An inflamed pulp can cause extreme pain and infection. This may infect the bone around the tooth, and thus cause abscess formation. Dentists suggest root canal treatment for such cases to save the tooth from further decay by removing the damaged pulp, sterilizing the infected area, and tooth is sealed with gutta percha. Root canal is needed to avoid the tooth from being extracted.

Signs and Symptoms

Infection may cause pain and inflammation and even abscess formation, in some cases. Some of the symptoms of infection include:

  • if your tooth is sensitive to heat or cold
  • if it hurts when you touch, push, or bite down on it
  • if there is inflammation near the tooth
  • if it is broken or discolored

Your dentist may place cold or hot substances against the aching tooth to determine whether it is sensitive than a normal tooth and needs root canal. The dentist will examine the surrounding tissues and gently tap on the tooth. He may suggest an X-ray of the surrounding bone or may use an electric pulp tester.

Treatment Procedure

The dentist or endodontist will use anesthetic around the tooth to numb the area to prevent pain during the procedure. The decayed tooth portions are removed, and the pulp remnants are extracted. The root canals are thoroughly cleaned and shaped to remove debris, pus, or bacteria. The interior of the tooth is then sterilized and dried and then the infection-free root canal is filled with long-lasting rubber material known as ‘gutta-percha’. Often, the tooth needs a crown to restore its strength and prevent it from cracking. Once the root canal treatment is done, your tooth no longer remains sensitive to hot or cold.