What It Is
A root canal is a comfortable and simple dental procedure that is done to restore decaying teeth. This can be performed by a dentist or a endodontist. A root canal helps you to clean out all decay from your tooth instead of getting an implant. Having a root canal is often more beneficial than getting an implant because you will keep the structure of your tooth in order to speak properly and chew easily. Some advantages of a root canal consist of:
- Keeping your tooth
- Successful chewing
- Normal biting, and
- Protection to other surrounding teeth.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
The root canal procedure begins with an X-Ray. This X-ray will determine the shape and size of the root canal. The X-Ray will also help find any other decaying teeth or other infections you may have. After the X-Ray is performed, your dentist or endodontist will use anesthesia to numb your tooth and other areas of your mouth. Although not all dentists use anesthesia, this helps the patient to feel more comfortable and at ease.
Next, a rubber dam will be used to keep saliva out of that area. An access hole will then be drilled into the tooth to begin the treatment. The pulp and nerve will be removed from the tooth to carefully take out all of the decayed material. This is necessary because the pulp of the tooth can begin to breakdown and foster bacteria. This bacteria can then multiply and cause an abscess in the hole. An abscess is when decay is past the root of the tooth and can cause pain.
Once the pulp is removed, a thorough cleaning process starts. This will bring restoration to the tooth and will help relieve pain and discomfort. Root canal files are used to clean the tooth. This helps to get inside the tooth and scrape any remaining decay off the sides. Water is used to wash away any debris throughout the process. Once it is cleaned, the tooth is now sealed. Although, if an infection is found medication can be inserted to clean it even more.
If the root canal process can not be completed in one day, a temporary fill will be done to prevent any food or saliva from getting inside the tooth and causing more damage in between appointments. As the final step, a sealer paste is used and more restoration is done. Constant restoration is necessary to prevent any damage or breakage until the tooth can perform its full function.
What to Do after a Root Canal
Oral health care is vital to maintaining healthy teeth. Some tips and tricks that you can use after a root canal procedure involve constant brushing and flossing, especially after meals. Keeping a regular schedule as to when you brush and floss is helpful to remove more decay. Mouthwash is also helpful to use after you brush as it can also help you maintain your teeth. Root canal procedures truly are a treatment that can help you have beautiful teeth for a lifetime.
If you would like more information about root canal procedures, contact the office of Dr. Larry Molenda, D.D.S. in San Marcos, TX.