What Is Root Canal Therapy?

 Root canal therapy photo

 If your dentist has just told you that you will need root canal therapy, don’t panic. It’s not as bad as it sounds. And it’s not an uncommon procedure that you need to fear about. In fact, millions undergo the same procedure. Also known as endodontic therapy, this procedure is one of the effective treatments for saving your teeth. There’s nothing to worry about. It does not make things worse. It, in fact, treats your teeth and relieves the pain. It protects the tooth from decontamination and eliminates infection and microbial invasion through the removal of the pulp of the affected tooth.

Root canal therapy procedure

The main concern of the patients is this: Is root canal therapy painful? The procedure itself is painless with the help of a local anesthetic. The part that might cause discomfort is the injection of the anesthetic. The rest is pretty much painless because your tooth and the surrounding area are numb throughout. As a matter of fact, it is not the procedure that’s painful; it is the infection itself. What’s more painful is when you let the infection spread by not undergoing the needed treatment.

So how does the treatment go? Basically, the pulp of the affected tooth will be removed. The pulp is a soft tissue found inside the tooth, under the dentin and white enamel. It consists of connective tissues, nerves and blood vessels and is mainly responsible for helping the growth of the root of the tooth. The reason why this can be removed is that when the tooth has fully grown and developed, it can be fully functional and nourished even without the pulp.

After the procedure, you will get the following benefits:

  • It promotes efficient chewing and normal biting sensation.
  • It gives off natural appearance of your teeth.
  • It saves the natural tooth from further damage.
  • It eliminates infection and protects you from possible microbial invasion.
  • It protects the other teeth from being affected or infected.

 
Root canal therapy step by step procedure

If you need a molar root canal therapy, you will undergo several steps. The removal of the infected pulp and the decay is just the preliminary step. Other steps may be necessary based on the condition of your tooth. The dentist will determine if the affected tooth can still be restored or if it is already too late to save the tooth.

Generally, the following are the steps of the root canal procedure:

  1. Like in other dental procedures, the administration of local anesthesia via injection is the first part of the process. This numbs the tooth and the surrounding tissues and gums. Usually, the anesthesia takes effect immediately. However, if the pulp is inflamed, the dentist may wait a while for the anesthesia to kick in. This is necessary so that the procedure will be painless and comfortable for the patient.
  2. A dental dam will then be placed over the affected tooth, as well as the one adjacent to it. This dam is a thin sheet of vinyl or rubber, which is designed to isolate the tooth undergoing treatment from the rest of the teeth and the mouth, making it easier for the dentist to conduct the procedure.
  3. The dentist will drill a small access hole through the surface of the affected tooth. This gives access to the root canals and pulp chamber which is necessary for the treatment.
  4. Using specially designed dental instruments, the dead and infected pulp tissue will be removed. After which the pulp chamber and root canals will be cleaned out.
  5. The canals will be disinfected with antibacterial and antiseptic solutions.
  6. The dentist will then shape the canals to prepare them for the application of fillings and sealers. Before sealing, the canals will be again washed and cleaned to thoroughly remove any debris left.
  7. The fillings will then be applied to the prepared canals. These fillings used are usually gutta-percha, which is a rubber-like material that fills in the canal space.
  8. The access hole drilled earlier will now be sealed permanent or temporarily using a special filling material. The dental dam will subsequently be removed. The procedure ends here.
  9. However, to prevent or treat the infection, if any, the dentist will prescribe you with an antibiotic, which you will take as per instructions.
  10. To replace the lost tooth structure, in case the original has not been saved, you will need a permanent restoration. You can ask your dentist as regards the right kind of restoration for you.

If you are concerned about the root canal therapy molar cost, the rough estimate is $500 to $700. But the price would depend on the extent on your situation and the extent of the damage. You can contact your dentist and ask for an estimate prior the procedure.

Root canal therapy procedure steps

You need to follow the steps up to the restoration of the tooth in order for you to have perfectly healthy, functional and restored teeth. With proper treatment, you will regain your natural smile and continue to enjoy having healthy teeth. However, the procedures are not enough. If you really want to make the root canal treatment to work and last for years, even a lifetime, you need to take care of your teeth properly. Follow the basic oral hygiene habits and regularly visit the dentist.

If you think you might need root canal therapy, have it checked at East Valley Dental Care. There’s no need to be anxious about the whole procedure. Always remember that dentists and endodontists are here to treat and make your teeth as healthy and as fully functional as possible. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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