Have you sweated bullets anytime your dentist has told you that you need a root canal? The very mention of that word is enough to put even the toughest person in a state of panic. However, root canal need not be as scary as it sounds. Let us know the A to Z of root canal through this article.

What is the root canal?

Before delving into what a root canal is, let us understand a little about the anatomy of a tooth. A tooth has 3 layers. First is the white enamel, below which is the hard layer called dentin. Below this is a soft tissue called pulp. This contains blood vessels and tissues which help the root to grow in its formative years. Once the tooth is mature, it can survive without the pulp as it gets its nourishment from surrounding tissues. In case if a person needs a root canal to save a tooth due to decay or injury, then a root canal procedure is done. It is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected tooth and prevent reinfection. In this procedure, the infected pulp is removed; the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned, disinfected and then filled and sealed. It’s quite unlike a regular filling and can be completed in 1-2 sittings. It is almost painless and very effective.

When do you need a root canal?

A decayed, chipped or injured tooth can cause the pulp, to become infected or inflamed. If this infection is not treated on time, it can cause pain or abscess. This is when your dentist may recommend you to get a root canal treatment.

What are the early signs of needing a root canal?

There are a few telltale signs which should warrant a visit to your dental clinic. They are as follows:-

  • Pain while chewing
  • Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Swollen gums or gums that are tender to touch
  • Deep decay
  • Chipped or cracked tooth

Advantages of root canal

This treatment has many advantages.

  • Easy and painless chewing
  • Aesthetically appropriate appearance
  • Protects other teeth from overstraining, thus not causing them any damage
  • No adverse sensation towards heat or cold.

Millions of teeth are saved every year using this treatment. Also, since a root canal is relatively painless and effective, you will be smiling and chewing without flinching in any time at all.

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