What is a root canal?
A root canal is done for a tooth that needs to have the pulp removed from the center of the tooth. The pulp is the center most layer of the tooth that has blood supply and feeling in it. The pulp can get an infection in it or can become inflamed like all other soft tissues in your body. When this happens, it hurts. It can hurt more intensely than most places in the body because the pulp is trapped inside the tooth, so the squeezing pressure is exaggerated. This inflammation or infection can happen for many different reasons including a break in the tooth, a deep cavity, a large old filling being replaced or even a crown prep. When it happens, there is no other procedure that can give you relief except removing the entire tooth. Many people would like to retain the tooth and choose to have this procedure done. The specifics of the procedure include these steps:
- The tooth is numbed.
- A small hole is made in the top of the tooth.
- The pulp is reached and the smaller holes that lead into the root canals are found.
- Once found the canals are measured, cleaned and shaped with specialized instruments shaped like the canals.
- Once the canals are cleaned and shaped, the canals are sanitized to rid them of any bacteria.
- The canals are then sealed using a sealer and filled using s specialized root canal filler.
- The hole in the tooth is then filled with filling material.
- Since the hole made in the top of the tooth is deep enough to find the root canals in the roots, a crown is placed to protect the tooth from fracturing while chewing.