Root canal treatment is the process of disinfecting the root area of the teeth to prevent the nerves from dying and teeth from falling. There are many misguided beliefs of what a root canal is and what are the side effects, to understand the procedure better, let`s go back to basics.
Pulp and infections
The pulp is what we might call the “inner area” of the tooth, this is also the place where blood is delivered and where the nerve endings are located, under certain circumstances, such as cavities or cracks, bacteria may infect the area, while the infection isn´t really noticeable during the first stages, if left unchecked for long enough it can destroy the pulp, which ultimately means that the tooth may need to be removed. To make matters worse, an infection may spread throughout the canal system which may eventually lead to an abscess: as pus gathers around the infected area, it swells, causing pain, and even tooth tenderness.
So, how can you tell if you have an infection?, most patients notice their tooth darken, others might feel a little discomfort, but most of the time, the infection is found by the dentist during regular checkups.
The good news is that most abscesses can be treated with a root canal treatment, keep in mind though, that even if the procedure is fairly simple and not painful, its very time consuming, so most dentists will want to schedule at least two appointments.
Root canal treatment
During the first session, the pulp area is removed and the abscesses are drained, the root canal in then cleaned and readied for filling. A medication is applied to prevent further infection and a temporary filling placed. After a few days, on the second appointment, the dentist makes sure that the infection is gone, if that´s the case, then the tooth is filled with a permanent resin, If not, the root canal is treated again until the infection subsides.
The only side effect you might experience is sensitivity to temperature in affected area. Keep in mind that sometimes the damage might be pretty extensive, in such cases the dentist may recommend that the tooth is removed instead, while a root treatment might be theoretically possible, the tooth might have become brittle, so pressure may cause fracture.
As usual, a treatment must fit the patient´s needs; that is why, here in Los Algodones we take the time to fully diagnose our patients and offer the best solution for their health and situation.