What is root canal?
Root canal (Endodontic therapy) is a treatment for repairing badly decayed, inflamed or infected tooth to prevent further infections or tooth loss.
When is root canal treatment needed?
Root canal treatment is needed when the pulp (the part at the center of the tooth beneath the enamel which is composed of connective tissue) is inflamed or infected. The cause of inflammation or infection could be deep tooth decay, repeated dental procedures on the same tooth or trauma, such as cracks, chipping or root fracture. Also, gum diseases can result in root canal problems.
How to determine whether you need a root canal treatment?
There are few symptoms to look for, such as pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, sensitive to touching and chewing, swelling and tenderness in gum tissues. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms and it would be difficult to determine the extent of the condition.
Root canal procedure
The procedure can be done in a single visit or multiple visits depending on many factors, such as the tooth is being treated, the degree of infection, patient’s compliance, etc.
The procedure is not painful and the dentist uses anesthesia during the surgery. First, the dentist will examine and take an x-ray of the tooth. Then local anesthesia will be administered.
After the tooth is numb, the dentist makes a small hole in the crown of the tooth. of Next, the infected or inflamed pulp is removed and cleans both the pulp and the root canal is cleaned. After space is cleaned, the root canal is filled with a biocompatible material and the opening is sealed with a temporary filling that is going to be removed before tooth restoration. To protect and restore the full functionality of the tooth, a crown or a similar restoration must be placed on it.
How successful is root canal treatment?
It is very successful and helps stop the pain, protect the tooth from removed, restores efficient chewing, normal biting, sensation, and natural appearance.
Are there any complications to root canal treatment?
Sometimes, complications occur after the procedure.
- There are more than the anticipated number of root canals in the tooth, and if one of them is left uncleaned, it causes the recurrence of the infection.
- An undetected crack in the root of a tooth.
- If the tooth is left with no restoration or if the dental restoration was inadequate or defective, it allows the bacteria to infect the tooth again.
- A breakdown of the sealing material overtime would lead to bacterial recontamination and recurrent infection.
What to expect after root canal procedure?
For a few days after the procedure, tooth sensitivity or discomfort will occur. It can be treated with painkillers. What are the precautions after treatment?
- It is important to take the medications prescribed by the dentist on time, which will most likely be a painkiller and an antibiotic
- Do not chew food on that side of the jaw where the procedure was performed on, for a few days.
- Avoid eating chewing hard food for a couple of days., Also, avoid consumption of cold and hot food as the teeth will be sensitive after the procedure.
- Maintain oral hygiene as brushing regularly and flossing would avoid recurrent infections.