An overview of root canal treatment

Updated on March 6, 2021

Saving the tooth is the motto of dentists, and they will do their best to protect the infected teeth so that they can function again normally. The approach has considerably reduced tooth extraction incidents, and dentists at the Boston dental group are advising patients with severe tooth infection to undergo root canal treatment that helps to retain the tooth after curing the infection. Dentists save millions of teeth each year by using the root canal treatment, which is now the mainstay of endodontic treatment. 

The tooth anatomy explained.

Before we explain more about root canal treatment, it is necessary to understand the tooth structure and its anatomy. The hard outside surface of the tooth body is the dentin which has a layer of enamel and inside the tooth is the pulp or soft tissue. The pulp consists of blood vessels, connective tissues and nerves, and creates the hard tissue that surrounds it while the tooth goes through the development stage. The pulp fills the space from the crown down to the root tip, where it is connected to the tissues around the root. The pulp’s role ends after the tooth matures, and as it receives nourishment from the surrounding, it does not need support from the pulp and can exist without it.

When you need root canal treatment

Inflammation of the pulp and the soft tissue inside the root canal can happen for many reasons like chip or crack in the tooth or due to frequent dental procedures to treat decay. Pulp damage can occur due to some injury to the tooth, although the damage might not be visible. Delaying the treatment of pulp infection can cause severe pain and lead to an abscess. 

Severe pain, cracked or chipped tooth, pimples on the gums, persistent sensitivity to cold or hot (even after withdrawing the source of sensation), dark gums, deep decay, and tender or swollen gums are some signs that will compel the dentist to recommend root canal treatment.

What happens during the treatment?

Since the pulp of a mature tooth is no more necessary for the tooth’s survival, the orthodontist removes the infected or inflamed pulp and carefully cleans the inside of the root canal while shaping it well, and finally fills the space and seals it.  After healing, the dentist will undertake a tooth restoration procedure as deemed necessary and place a crown to protect the tooth and allow it to function normally. After the restoration procedure, the tooth functions like any other normal tooth.

The dentists will use local anesthetics in the gum of the affected tooth to make the area numb so that the patient does not feel any pain or discomfort. The patient can see the dentists performing the procedure but will not feel any sensation that allows the dentist to carry on with the work smoothly and complete it in a short time.  The dentists might first apply a temporary filling after removing the pulp to judge how comfortable the patient feels so that they can make necessary adjustments to ensure that the final filling is satisfactory. 

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