A root canal is a treatment option that is designed to repair and “save” a damaged or infected tooth, as an alternative to removing it. Advancements in techniques and equipment for root canals have made it a quicker, easier, and often nearly pain-free procedure.
What are the steps involved in a root canal?
First, the dentist will numb the area to be treated, and will make an opening on the top or back side of the tooth and remove the inflamed or infected nerve tissue (using small files). The dentist will then clean and shape the inside of the tooth, and fill the space and seal the tooth. The dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help heal the infection. The dentist will provide you with post procedure instructions, which include avoiding very hot or cold food or beverages, as well as chewy or hard foods or snacks for a period of time. Once the healing is complete, you should be able to return to normal use of your teeth. However, it is important to remember that dental restorations need to be proper care and maintenance to make sure they remain strong and intact.
Root Canals for Children (Pulpotomy)
When a cavity on a baby tooth is too deep and enters the nerve space a baby root canal (pulptomy) is needed in order to save the tooth. Baby teeth are not as hard and strong as adult teeth, and the nerve inside a baby tooth is closer to the outside, which is why children are often both more sensitive and susceptible to decay and tooth pain.