A root canal is the space within the root of a tooth.In the situation that a tooth is considered so threatened (because of decay, cracking, etc.) that future infection is considered likely or inevitable, a pulpectomy, removal of the pulp tissue, is advisable to prevent such infection. Usually, some inflammation and/or infection is already present within or below the tooth.
To cure the infection and save the tooth, the dentist drills into the pulp chamber and removes the infected pulp and then drills the nerve out of the root canal(s) with long needle-shaped drills. After this is done, the dentist fills each of the root canals and the chamber with an inert material and seals up the opening. This procedure is known as root canal therapy. With the removal of nerves and blood supply from the tooth, it is best that the tooth be fitted with a crown.
For some patients, root canal therapy is one of the most feared dental procedures, perhaps because of a painful abscess that necessitated the root canal procedure. However now modern root canal treatment is relatively painless because the pain can be controlled with a local anesthetic during the procedure and pain control medication can be used before and/or after treatment assuming that the dentist takes the time to administer one.
At this first visit, it is ensured that the patient is not biting into the tooth, which could also trigger pain. Sometimes the preliminary treatment of the tooth is performed by removing all of the infected pulp of the tooth and applying a dressing and temporary filling to the tooth. This is called a pulpectomy. It may be required to remove just the coronal portion of the dental pulp, which contains 90% of the nerve tissue, and leave intact the pulp in the canals.
This procedure, called a “pulpotomy”, A pulpotomy may be a relatively definitive treatment for infected primary teeth. The pulpectomy and pulpotomy procedures eliminate almost all pain until the follow-up visit for finishing the root canal. But if the pain returns, it means any of three things: the patient is biting into the tooth, there is still a significant amount of sensitive nerve material left in the tooth, or there is still more pus building up inside and around the infected tooth; all of these cause pain. Then the treatment needs to be carried further.
With a increasing pace of life and difficulty to manage time to make frequent visits to a dentists office, endodontics had gone a step further and presented the option for Single visit root canal treatments for those who need treatment but have time constraints.