Why Root Canal?
A tooth is made up of two parts which are crown and the root. The crown is the part of the tooth that is visible in the mouth and is made up of the hard, white, enamel layer and a softer material called the dentin layer. Both these hard layers protect the innermost soft tissues of the tooth called the pulp. The dental pulp contains blood vessels and nerves within and extends from the crown to the tips of the root or roots. The treatment of root canal involves the removal of the infected pulp tissues from the tooth. The pulp can be infected or inflamed due to decay.Indications of damage to the pulp may include pain, swelling, sensitivity to cold and, discoloration of the tooth, tenderness of the overlying gums or a bad taste in the mouth. There may be occasions when none of the symptoms occur but still have an infected pulp. If the infected pulp is left untreated, it can eventually cause pain, swelling and loss of the supporting bone.
Is the Procedure Painful?
Having a root canal treatment done is often painless as the tooth is anaesthetised. Having done a root canal treatment, the tooth may be sensitive or tender for a few days due to inflammation of the surrounding tissues. This discomfort can be relieved by taking mild analgesics or painkillers. However, if the pain persists and is severe, or a swelling occurs, get in touch with your dentist.
After root canal treatment the tooth is pulp-less i.e. it has no vital tissues within. However, there are vital tissues surrounding the root e.g. the gum, periodontal membrane and supporting bone. A root canal treated tooth can function normally and can be maintained with routine dental care and oral hygiene measures.