Root canal treatment is a common dental procedure that is not often well explained by most dentists. Many dentists carry out this treatment when it is not absolutely necessary.
What is a root canal?
The space within the root of a tooth is known as the root canal. It is a funnel-shaped channel full of soft tissue, which runs from the surface of a tooth down through the tooth itself and into the root. The canal is where the main nerve tissue in the tooth is found.
Why does it require root canal treatment?
When a tooth shows some level of decay or infection, the root canal treatment is required. The treatment is applied in order to prevent the further decay or spread of the infection that may lead to total loss of the tooth. The soft tissue is completely removed from the canals and replaced with artificial cement.
What happens in root canal treatment?
The soft tissue in the canal contains the nerve tissue; hence, the procedure requires the administration of an anesthetic. Normally, a local anesthetic is required that numbs the tooth and surrounding areas. Once it has taken hold, the dentist will drill down through the tooth, removing infected and decaying tissues. The dentist will use a manual device to extract all the soft tissue. This is done at the place where the canal narrows in the actual root stem.
The space left after the tissue has been extracted is filled with rubbery cement. The dentist may also take an x-ray of the treated tooth to ensure that no air pockets remain the canal. If an air pocket is found, the dentist will have to remove the cement and refill the canal again. This part of the procedure may have to be repeated several times until the tooth is left with no air pockets.
Finally, when there are no air pockets left, the hole is sealed permanently and the remaining cavity in the upper part of the tooth is filled.