A root canal is a dental procedure that is used to treat an infected or damaged tooth. The procedure involves removing the damaged or infected tissue from inside the tooth, cleaning the area, and filling it with a special material to prevent further infection or damage.
Root canals are typically recommended when a tooth has become infected due to a deep cavity or injury. The infection can cause pain, swelling, and other symptoms that can make it difficult to eat or drink. If left untreated, the infection can even cause bone loss in the jaw.
The root canal procedure itself is usually performed under local anesthesia, which means you will be awake but won’t feel any pain. The dentist or endodontist will first make a small hole in the top of the tooth to access the damaged or infected tissue inside. Then, using special tools, they will carefully remove the damaged tissue and clean the area to ensure that all of the bacteria and infection have been removed.
Once the area is clean and free of infection, the dentist will fill the tooth with a special material to help prevent further damage or infection. In some cases, a crown may be placed over the tooth to provide additional protection and support.
After the procedure, you may experience some discomfort and sensitivity in the treated tooth, but this should subside within a few days. You may be advised to avoid chewing on the treated tooth for a period of time, and to take over-the-counter pain relievers as needed to manage any discomfort.
A root canal is a safe and effective way to treat a damaged or infected tooth and can help save the tooth from further damage or even extraction. If you think you may need a root canal, speak with your dentist to learn more about the procedure and whether it is right for you.