Every tooth has a pulp chamber inside it within what is known as the coronal part of the tooth. This is the root canal which may be a main canal and a series of branches connected with each other or to the surface of the tooth. The smaller branches could be located anywhere along the length of the tooth but more often near the root end.
Each root can have one or two main canals which run through it like a lead in a pencil. This space is filled with dental pulp, an extremely vascularized, loose connective tissue, the dentin part of the tooth. The function of dental pulp seems to be over once the tooth has attained its final size and shape. It now becomes a sensory organ, playing a secondary role. The nerves in the pulp relay signals to the brain.
The root canal procedure entails removing the entire contents of the pulp chamber, when decayed or infected, and filling the properly prepared cavity with a bio-compatible material. This procedure is resorted to only when the tooth is unable to restore lost material in a surface cavity. The procedure is as follows:
- Tooth area is isolated with a rubber dam kit.
- The cavity is prepared using an aerator aided with canal files to completely clean the root.
- Cavity sealed with a temporary filling for a week. A medicine is also used to control the spread of further infection if any infected material remained in the cavity and to prevent fresh infection.
- Finally the cavity is sealed by filling the canal with a plastic material called Gutta Percha. It is then topped off with regular cement filling accompanied with crown plastic.
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