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What Is a Root Canal Treatment?

This treatment consists of the dentist drilling a hole through the chewing surface of the tooth to reach the nerve inside the tooth which is referred to as the pulp. The pulp extends down the tooth's root and must be removed so that infection can be cured or prevented.

Thin metal wires are inserted into the tooth down to the base of the root canal and the pulp is extracted. This prevents it from getting irritated in the future and causing pain which could result from an illness, chewing gum or sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks.

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Once the pulp is removed, most dentists will fill the canals with a rubbery gel, effectively sealing off it. This step will prevent germs from making it back into the cavity and causing potential problems for the individual. The gum is then replaced with a temporary filling which remains for at least two weeks prior to a permanent filling or a crown is placed in.

What's the process like?

When you first sit down in the chair for the procedure, the dentist will typically give you a brief overview of what the method consists of. Next, the areas where the Novocain is going to be injected are rubbed with topical gel that gently numbs the area where the need is going to be injected. Then the shots are given, usually between 2-4 injections, and you'll be left to wait a couple of minutes while the anesthetic works its magic. After about 15 minutes, the physician will return and begin working.