What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a routine dental procedure that treats infection or inflammation inside a tooth. The infection progresses from the pulp inside the tooth's crown into the root canals. The procedure treats the infection and reseals the tooth, preventing future problems.
The Root Canal Procedure
Today, a root canal is a simple procedure that results in quick relief. The dentist drills into the tooth to remove the infected pulp. They also use specialized files to remove the pulp inside the canals, reshaping and cleaning the files to make a repeat infection less likely.
They may need to place an antibiotic in the tooth to help treat the infection. In this case, the dentist would wait a few days for the antibiotic to take effect before completing the procedure.
The dentist fills the tooth with a sealing material called gutta-percha. This material keeps out contaminants like saliva and food. When the tooth is cleaned, disinfected, and refilled, the dentist creates a crown and completes the restoration.
Benefits of A Root Canal
Are You a Good Candidate for a Root Canal?
You may be an excellent candidate for a root canal if:
- You have an infection inside the root of your tooth
- You have a broken or damaged tooth
- You have experienced dental trauma
- Your tooth has enough structure remaining to support a crown or post
Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals
- Extreme discomfort when biting down on the tooth
- Broken or damaged tooth due to facial trauma
- Strong sensitivity to heat or cold
- Pimple-like swellings on the gums
- Visible pus on the gums
- Your dentist determines you need a root canal by looking at your X-rays