What is a Root Canal?
A Root Canal is a common dental procedure it involves the removal of the damaged or infected pulp of a tooth. When damage occurs to the pulp of a tooth it is very painful. In the past the only solution was extraction but extractions can cause problems because of the space that is left in the mouth. So going in and removing the pulp of the tooth. The most common causes of pulp inflammation or infection are a cracked or chipped tooth, a deep cavity or filling, or other serious injury to the tooth. All of these can allow bacteria to enter the pulp. So it becomes necessary to remove the pulp and then either a filling or a crown is used to close the opening.
What happens in a Root Canal Procedure?
First the patients tooth and gum are numbed. The dentist will then place a thin sheet of latex over the tooth and a hole is drilled through the top of the tooth (crown) into the inside of the tooth down to the pulp. Next the tooth’s pulp, or nerve is extracted. Each root canal is cleaned and shaping may be required to it can accept a filling. Then medicine is placed within the tooth to get rid of bacteria. Then a pliable material is used to seal the tooth and a temporary filling is placed in the tooth to prevent contamination of the root canals. The dentist may prescribe antibiotics if the infection has spread. Finally, on your next visit the dentist will remove the temporary filling, and will replace it with either a crown or a permanent filling.
What is the aftercare for a Root Canal?
After root canal therapy it is normal to experience slight discomfort for a few days. Since the teeth will be anesthetized, the tongue, lips and roof of the mouth may be numb. Be careful not to eat or drink hot beverages until the numbness has worn off. It is normal to have some sensitivity after your root canal. The sensitivity should subside within a few weeks after the root canal treatment is completed. Mild pain medications may also be used like Ibuprofen either Advil or Motrin.
Learn More About Root Canals at the American Association of Endodontists site
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