Root canal treatment treats diseases and conditions of the tooth's pulp. The dental pulp is found in the centre of the tooth and within the roots of each tooth and consists of nerves blood vessels and connective tissue that give vitality to the tooth. This vitality normally gives us the first sense that something is wrong with our teeth and it is also responsible for the sensitivity we feel when we complain of sensitivity.
When something goes wrong with the pulp located in the tooth's root, it can cause pain and discomfort. Root canal treatment is often necessary to alleviate this pain.
The most common signs and symptoms of a troubled pulp is when the tooth is sensitive to hot foods and drink, followed by a dull to strong ache that lasts for minutes and sometime hours.
Another sign is when the tooth is painful to bite on and is usually more painful during the sleeping hours. For this dental procedure, the affected pulp is removed from the tooth.
Patients hence are able to avoid a painful extraction and the tooth can then continue to be maintained in function after protective measures have been taken whilst restoring the tooth after the completion of root canal treatment.
Root canal treatment has often been described as a very traumatic experience. In reality, having a root canal done is no more traumatic than getting a filling done. You may be required to go for two to three sittings to have a root canal done, depending on the complexity of the tooth.
The dentist will begin by providing some much needed local anaesthesia before removing the infected pulp(and associated infected hard tissue) and thoroughly cleaning the root canals and the pulp cavity. The dentist will continue to clean and shape the canals, preparing them for sealing with gutter percha to prevent future re-infections of the canal. Proper care can make root canal treatment last many years with no major ensuing problems.