Root canal treatment has an undeserved reputation for being a painful procedure. Most root canal treatments are not painful at all, occasionally a root canal treatment can be painful , & with human nature being what it is , these are the ones that everyone talks about, resulting in the false impression that root canal treatments are painful procedures.
Root canals are tiny passageways that run through the roots of teeth, coursing their way vertically downward until they reach the tip of the root. The number of root canals in a tooth can vary from one to five or even six.
Root canal therapy is a remarkable treatment with a high success rate. It involves removing the diseased tissue, halting the spread of infection, and restoring the healthy portion of the tooth. Root canal therapy is designed to save a problem tooth.
When bacteria find their way into the centre of the tooth ,because of dental decay, leaking filling, tooth fracture or trauma etc, an inflammatory reaction occurs which can result in toothache and ultimately an abscess. Sometimes no pain is experienced and the nerve dies quietly resulting in a slowly progressing bone infection. At any stage treatment can be carried out to prevent spread of the infection: One option is loss of the tooth. More often it is elected to try and save the tooth.
As the cause of the problem is bacterial infection, successful root canal therapy involves the removal of bacteria & diseased tissue and disinfection of the inside of the tooth. This can, and should, be a totally painless experience. The tooth is isolated under a dental dam and after the inside of the tooth is accessed it is soaked in a disinfectant.
Teeth are porous, like a sponge, which is why soaking with a disinfectant is successful. Tiny titanium and stainless steel instruments are used to gently shape & clean the inside of the tooth down to the tips of the roots. Once completed, a root filling material is used to fill the root canal space and prevent reinfection. Most teeth need full coverage crowns after root canal therapy to prevent future fracture of the weakened tooth structure.