There’s no need to be worried if your dentist or endodontist prescribes a root canal procedure to treat a damaged or diseased tooth. Millions of teeth are treated and saved this way each year, relieving pain and making teeth healthy again.
Inside your tooth, beneath the white enamel and a hard layer called dentin, is a soft tissue called pulp. This tissue contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, which help grow the root of your tooth during its development. A fully developed tooth can survive without the pulp because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.
Modern endodontic treatment is nothing like those old sayings! It’s very similar to a routine filling and can usually be completed in one or two appointments, depending upon the condition of your tooth and your personal circumstances. Getting a root canal is relatively painless and extremely effective. You’ll be back to smiling, biting and chewing with ease in no time.
When root canal treatment is needed
Root canal treatment is only required when dental X-rays show that the pulp has been damaged by a bacterial infection. The pulp will begin to die if it’s infected by bacteria, allowing the bacteria to then multiply and spread.
The symptoms of a pulp infection include:
- pain when eating or drinking hot or cold food and drink
- pain when biting or chewing
- a loose tooth
As the infection progresses, these symptoms often disappear as the pulp dies. Your tooth then appears to have healed, but the infection has in fact spread through the root canal system.
Further symptoms eventually occur, such as:
- pain when biting or chewing returning
- swelling of the gum near the affected tooth
- pus oozing from the affected tooth
- facial swelling
- the tooth becoming a darker colour
It’s important to see your dentist if you develop toothache. If your tooth is infected, the pulp can’t heal by itself.
Leaving the infected tooth in your mouth may make it worse. There may also be less chance of the root canal treatment working if the infection within your tooth becomes established.
Antibiotics – medication to treat bacterial infections – aren’t effective in treating root canal infections.
HOW A ROOT CANAL IS PERFORMED: STEP BY STEP
A root canal is essentially a four-step process. Treatment is usually performed over two office visits.
- Using a needle, the dentist administers local anesthesia to numb the tooth. It’s common to feel a bit of a pinch in the area when the needle goes in. After the tooth is numb, the endodontist might place a dental dam, a small sheet of rubber that isolates the tooth to keep it clean and dry during the procedure.
- Your dentist will then use very small tools, such as a small drill, to access the inside of the tooth by creating an opening in the top portion of the tooth. Next, the dentist will use small files to clear away the damaged and diseased pulp from the inside of the tooth. He or she will also use the files to shape the inner chamber of the tooth and root and might irrigate the chamber with water to wash away any remaining pulp. Your dentist might also put an antimicrobial solution in the chamber to kill any remaining bacteria and reduce the risk for further infection.
- Once the chamber is thoroughly cleaned and dried, the endodontist will fill it. A rubber-like material called gutta percha is often used. Your dentist will close the opening in your tooth with a temporary filling, while you wait for the permanent crown.
- After a few weeks, your dentist will finish the treatment by placing a permanent crown or a similar type of restoration on the top of the tooth. Depending on the condition of your natural tooth, the dentist may need to place a small supporting post inside of the root chamber, to make the crown or restoration more stable.
Where can I get Root Canal Specialists in Costa Rica?
A Dental Tourism Representative will help you find a the right dentist in Costa Rica who offers Root Canal treatment privately. Our Dental Guide includes dentists that are specialized in the Root Canal procedures.
The best part of it is that we will match the best dentist with the best Costa Rica dental price for you. Contact us today!