Root Canal Treatment in Magnolia, TX
For patients to know about endodontic treatments, it helps to understand a little bit more about the anatomy of the tooth. In the tooth, beneath the white enamel and a hard layer known as dentin, there is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp has nerves, blood vessels, and bonding tissues that were created around the hard tissues of the tooth during development. The pulp leads from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues around the root. The pulp is very important to the proper development of the tooth’s growth. When the tooth is fully grown, it should stand on its own without the pulp, because the tooth is still fed by the tissues around it. A root canal is the standard treatment to repair and save a tooth that becomes infected or seriously decayed. When a root canal procedure is done, the nerve and the pulp have to be removed, and the inside of the tooth must be cleaned and sealed off. If the patient doesn’t have proper treatment, the tissues around the tooth most likely will become infected, and abscesses could appear. The “Root Canal” is the dental term used to exposit the natural cavity, which is located within the center of the tooth. The pulp chamber, or the pulp, is the smooth area within the root canal. The tooth’s nerve is located in the root canal. After the tooth has grown into the gums, the tooth’s nerve is not important for a tooth’s health and use. Its only function is to provide the sensation of hot and cold. Therefore, the presence or absence of a nerve will not influence the daily functioning of the tooth.
Why would a patient require a Root Canal Treatment?
Patients need endodontic treatment when the pulp and the smooth tissues that are located in the root canal, become inflamed or infected. Several things can cause inflammation or infection: a chip or crack in the tooth, and deep decay inside the tooth. Actually, the injuries could appear even if the tooth doesn’t present visible chips or cracks. If the patient skips treating the inflammation or infection, it can produce pain and/or lead to an abscess. Symptoms are a prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, a tenderness while chewing, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling, drainage, and tenderness in the lymph nodes, as well as pain in the bone and gum tissues. Surprisingly, sometimes, patients don’t present any type of symptom.
How is the Root Canal Treatment performed?
The root canal generally requires a visit to the office of an endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of dental diseases and injuries of the pulp or the tooth’s nerve.
To some degree, the type of dentist the patient needs to see is going to depend on the dental challenges of their tooth problem. The primary care dentist will consider who might be best suited to perform the work in the patient’s mouth. The first step in the dental procedure is to take an X-ray to see the shape of the root canals and check if there is an infection around the bone. Then, the dentist or the endodontist will use local anesthesia to numb the area close to the tooth. The anesthesia wouldn’t be required when the nerve is dead, but many dentists continue to anesthetize the indicated area in order to relax the patient. The dentist should apply a rubber or sheet dam in order to surround the tooth and keep the indicated area dry and free of saliva. Then, the dentist must drill the tooth to create an access hole. The decayed nerve tissue, the debris, and the pulp along with bacteria must be pulled out from the tooth. The dental cleaning process should be completed using root canal files. These files must be placed into the access hole and lead them to the toe of the tooth in order to scratch and wash every side of the root canal. Periodically, the dentist should use water or sodium hypochlorite to clear away the debris.
The tooth could feel sensitive because of natural tissue inflammation for the first few days following the root canal. This is particularly true if the patient presented pain or infection before the procedure. Generally, this dental sensitivity can be neutralized using OTC medications such as naproxen (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). After the procedure, many patients can return to their normal daily activities. Until the root canal procedure is completely finished, including a permanent filling or crown, the dentist will recommend decreasing chewing on the tooth while it is healing. This will help minimize any further damage to a fragile tooth before it is fully restored. As usual, the dentist will recommend regular brushing, flossing, antiseptic mouthwash, and semi-annual checkups for a beautiful smile.