Root canal therapy is the best solution to a very intense problem. It helps save a decaying tooth that still has hope. Since missing teeth weakens your bite; most modern dentists will prefer saving a tooth instead of extracting it.
A root canal is an endodontic procedure, which means it concerns the inner tissues of your tooth. They hurt like hell, and most people dread the very though of getting one. However, if you need it, there is hardly any other alternative.
Let us first look at the basic anatomy of a tooth. Under the hard enamel surface, is a sensitive tissue called the dentin. Further underneath the dentin is the pulp. The pulp consists of blood vessels, connective tissue, and some very sensitive nerves. Finally, we have the nerve roots which start from just under the enamel and run deep into the jawbone.
When do I need a Root Canal Procedure?
Root canal therapy removes any infected tooth pulp. If you ignore a cavity too long, food particles and bacteria will gradually damage the soft tissues within your teeth. Your dentist will then have to hollow out the tooth and remove the infected tissue.
Afterwards, the interior ‘canal’ needs filing with special nickel-titanium files. Finally, the hollow gets the right filling material. This is the basic layout of a root canal procedure.
Here is how a dentist does this procedure step-by-step –
1. The root canal begins with an X-Ray of your problem tooth. This check-up is crucial, since it tells the dentist exactly which parts are damaged. Then, the cleaning procedure begins under a local anesthetic.
2. Then your dentist will make a small opening in the crown of the tooth in question. Fine flexible nickel-titanium files will help clean the pulp chamber and root canal. There are typically six different kinds of files. Also, these files are usually single-use, so you might have to purchase the set for your procedure.
3. After cleaning out the canal and pulp chamber, the filling and sealing can begin. A special, material called gutta-percha, fills in the root canal passage. The dentist will also dry and sterilize the tooth with a dental dam. This will keep it saliva free and clean throughout the procedure.
4. Finally comes the crown. After the cleaning and filling, your tooth is gets a crown to make it function like a normal tooth. This may take extra effort if your tooth lacks enough structure for the crown to hold. In that case, your dentist must first place a post inside the tooth to support the crown.
Remember, that there will be pain during and after your root canal treatment. Although you will get local anesthesia and painkillers afterwards; it takes a few days for the soreness to go away. Thankfully, the dentist will also prescribe plenty of ice-cream to soothe the pain!
Root canal therapy costs less than extraction because tooth removal usually means getting implants or bridges. Most dental insurance policies cover the cost for your root canal treatment. You can call the Des Moines Dental Group on 515-512-5339 for more detailed information.