An endodontic treatment, more commonly known as a root canal treatment, is a simple procedure to remove an infected part of the tooth. Root canal infections can cause you severe pain and discomfort, and can even lead to permanent tooth decay if left untreated. Here is some basic information about root canals and root canal treatments so you can feel fully prepared and relaxed about this common dental procedure.

What is a Root Canal Treatment?

A root canal treatment removes the infected pulp from the inside of your tooth. The process for removing dead or infected pulp is simple and straightforward.

  • First, the infected pulp is located and identified, either by X-ray or dental inspection.
  • Patients are then put under local anesthetic (freezing) before the procedure begins. This prevents patients from feeling anything in the infected area during the procedure.
  • A rubber dam is then placed around the tooth to prevent bacteria in your saliva from entering your tooth during the procedure and causing further damage.
  • Then, the dentist creates an opening in your tooth so they can extract the pulp from the root canal system.
  • Using fine dental instruments, the root canal is cleaned and any dead, damaged or infected pulp is removed.
  • Once the canal is thoroughly cleaned, the tooth is filled and sealed with either a temporary or permanent filling.

Most root canal treatments are completed within a single sitting, sometimes two. Your tooth may feel tender for a week or two after the procedure. If you feel pain or swelling after your root canal treatment, contact your dentist as soon as possible to have your tooth re-examined.

What are the Consequences of a Root Canal Infection?

If the dead, damaged or infected pulp in your root canal system is left untreated, it can cause the following symptoms:

  • Inflammation and swelling
  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • Pain in your gums and jaw surrounding the area

If left untreated, this damaged pulp can lead to an abscessed tooth which may have to be permanently extracted. The best way to prevent infection-related tooth extraction is to have any root canal infections managed with an endodontic treatment. For more information about root canal treatments and to book a consultation with a dental professional today, contact us at Tooth Works Dentistry.