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A root canal in general terms, is the elimination of the nerve that is in charge of the vitality and sensibility of the tooth, this nerve is located in the chamber where the pulp is, as well as where the conduits reside.
To understand a root canal procedure or a conduit treatment, it is important to have the knowledge of the importance of the structure that forms a tooth.
ENAMEL: is the most resistant layer of the Tooth.
DENTIN: is the second layer that holds the pulp chamber in which the nerve resides.
CONDUITS: this is where you will find the conduits that house the nerves in the tooth.
A cavity damages the tooth’s enamel, the toughest part, and when it penetrates this layer, it targets the dentin beneath. This can lead to sensitivity to temperature changes and, in severe cases, result in fractures and intense pain, affecting the nerve due to inflammation.
Long-standing dental restorations can sometimes lead to nerve damage. This occurs when deep and large cavities cause the nerve to contract, leading to necrosis (nerve death). This, in turn, allows bacteria to accumulate, causing severe pain, inflammation, and infection.
Fractures often occur in individuals with untreated large cavities, weakening the tooth. These fractures can even be triggered by biting soft items. Other causes include accidents, sports injuries, or falls, leading to intense pain due to nerve exposure. Some fractures can be repaired with a filling or a crown, but the severity is assessed through an x-ray to determine the best treatment.
Spontaneous pain, sensibility to hot and cold, inflammation, discomfort around the gum where the affected tooth is, change in color of the tooth. However, sometimes a person will not have any or some of these symptoms. If you feel any of these symptoms, give us a Call! With the majority of cases, we can apply our treatments without any pain.
The initial step in a root canal treatment is a thorough diagnosis to assess the extent of the issue, allowing the specialist to plan the procedure and provide preoperative and postoperative guidance.
Diagnosis: The dentist examines the tooth and uses X-rays to assess the damage and plan the treatment.
Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is used to numb the area, ensuring minimal pain during the procedure.
Isolation: A rubber dam keeps the tooth clean and dry.
Access Opening: A small hole is drilled into the tooth to reach the pulp chamber.
Cleaning and Shaping: Special instruments remove damaged pulp, clean, and shape the inner area and root canals.
Disinfection: The area is disinfected to eliminate any remaining infection.
Filling: The cleaned root canals are sealed with gutta-percha, a biocompatible material.
Sealing the Access Opening: The access hole is sealed with a temporary or permanent filling, and a crown may be added for extra protection in some cases.
Restoration: Custom-fitted crowns, if needed, are placed in a separate appointment.
There are two types of posts:
Glass fiber pre-fabricated posts, which come in predefined shapes and sizes, and can be either metallic or fiberglass.
Metal posts, are often used for larger cavities where only the tooth’s walls remain. Metal posts require an impression, while glass fiber posts do not. The choice depends on the patient’s specific needs, determined by the specialist.
After a root canal, it’s crucial to place a crown on the tooth for added protection and long-term functionality.
Crown materials vary, with options like porcelain fused to metal or zirconia. The patient selects the material after the post and core build-up procedure is finished.
Q: What is a root canal, and why would I need one?
Q: Is a root canal painful?
Q: How long does a root canal take to complete?
Q: Are there alternatives?
Q: How long will the restored tooth last after a root canal?
Q: Can I eat and drink normally after a root canal?
Q: Will my tooth look different?
Q: Can I go back to work or daily activities after?
Q: Are there risks or complications associated?
Q: What can I do to prevent the need for a root canal in the future?