Root Canal Treatment or known as endodontic therapy refers to a process of treating the inner aspects of a tooth including its pulp tissue that contains nerves. The treatment process is to clean the root canal, and then seal it off to protect it instead of removing the tooth. Teeth that have undergone the root canal treatment are called “non-vital teeth” as they will be weakening, easy to break, and turn darker over time. Therefore, an abutment together with a post & core foundation is recommended to strengthen the non-vital tooth. After the treatment, the tooth may last 1, 2, 5 years or forever.
A root canal treatment, also known as endodontic therapy, is a dental procedure that is performed to save a damaged or infected tooth by removing the damaged or infected pulp from the tooth’s root canal. The process typically involves the following steps:
- Assessment: The dentist will first examine the tooth and take x-rays to determine the extent of the damage or infection. If a root canal is deemed necessary, the dentist will discuss the procedure with the patient and answer any questions they may have.
- Anesthesia: Before the procedure begins, the dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth with local anesthesia to minimize any pain or discomfort.
- Access: The dentist will then create an opening in the top of the tooth to access the root canal.
- Removal of Pulp: Using small instruments, the dentist will carefully remove the damaged or infected pulp from the tooth’s root canal. The dentist will also clean and disinfect the canal to remove any remaining bacteria.
- Filling: Once the canal has been cleaned, the dentist will fill it with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. The canal will then be sealed to prevent any further infection.
- Restoration: After the root canal treatment, the dentist will restore the tooth with a filling or a crown to protect it from further damage or infection.
The entire process can take one or more visits, depending on the severity of the damage or infection. After the procedure, patients may experience some mild discomfort, which can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
It is important to follow the dentist’s aftercare instructions carefully, including proper oral hygiene practices, to ensure a successful outcome and prevent any further problems. With proper care, a tooth that has undergone a root canal treatment can last for many years, and even a lifetime.