If your teeth are experiencing infection or have become severely decayed, then root canal treatment is just perfect for you. During the procedure, the pulp and nerve are taken out and the inner parts of the tooth are thoroughly cleaned and then sealed. Root canal refers to the natural cavity in the tooth center. The pulp is the soft area found inside the root canal while the tooth’s nerve can be found within the root canal. If treatment is not carried out, the tissue that surrounds the tooth gets infected and then the formation of the abscess will occur.
The moment that the tooth emerges through the gums, the tooth’s nerve does not really provide any vital function to a tooth’s function and health. The reason is because it has just one function which is sensory — it gives hot or cold sensation. The tooth will still function normally even in its absence.
Things such as severe decay, excess dental procedures on a tooth, large fillings, trauma to the face or a chip or crack to the tooth can make a tooth’s nerve and pulp to become irritated.
The Reason for Removal of the Tooth Pulp
Damage of the tooth pulp or nerve tissue leads to its breakdown which aids in the drastic growth of bacteria within the pulp chamber. The decayed debris together with bacteria can result in an abscessed tooth. When a tooth is abscessed, a pus-filled pocket is formed at the root end of the tooth. When an infection spreads down and past the ends of the tooth root. When the root canal is infected, one of the following may also occur apart from abscess:
- Swelling which may spread to other parts of neck, face or head
- Embed asset override
- A drainage problem which extends from the root. This can cause a hole to happen through the sides of the tooth causing drainage into the gums or through the cheek with drainage into the skin
- Experiencing bone loss around the root tip.
Root Canal Treatment Procedure
More than one office visit is required for the procedure to be performed by the endodontist or dentist. An endodontist’s specialty is in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of injuries and diseases of the dental pulp or nerve root of humans. The complications of your case can to some extent determine who is to treat you.
An X-ray will be taken as the first step in the procedure so that the shape of your root canals to find out if you have any signs of infection in any surrounding bone. A local anesthesia will then be used to numb the area around the tooth. Application of an anesthetic may not really be necessary but may be done to put the patient at ease.
A rubber dam is then placed around the tooth to keep the area dry and saliva-free as the treatment continues
The next step is the drilling of an access hole into the tooth. The pulp together with bacteria, the decayed nerve tissue, and other related debris is taken out from the tooth. The process of cleaning out is done with the use of root canal files. A series of these files are used to scrape and also scrub the sides of the root canals. Sodium hypochlorite or water will be used to flush out the debris at intervals.
After a thorough cleaning of the teeth, it is then sealed with a rubber seal. Sometimes though, dentists wait for about a week before sealing the tooth. This is especially in the case of if a medication has been placed inside the tooth to clear up an infection. For other dentists, sealing is carried out on the same day that the root canal procedure is completed. If the procedure cannot be completed in a day, then a temporary filling is fixed into the exterior hole of the tooth so that contaminants such as saliva or food can be completely shut out until the procedure is complete.
On your next appointment, for filling of the interior of your tooth, a sealer paste and a rubber compound known as gutta percha will be inserted into the tooth’s root canal. If it is the exterior access hole that was created at the inception of treatment, then a filling is used.
Further restoration of the tooth may be involved in the last step. Since a tooth that requires a root canal will usually have a large filling or severe decay or some other form of weakness, a crown, a crown, and post or some other method of restoration may need to be placed on the tooth to serve as a protection, prevent it from damage, and also to restore it to its full functional ability. If there is any need for further dental works, your dentist will let you know.
Root canal procedures have been widely thought to be painful. The truth, however, is that the report from those who have undergone the process indicates that it is no more painful than having a filling placed.
What to Expect After the Root Canal Procedure
During the first few days following a successful completion of a root canal, you may feel sensitivity in your teeth because of natural tissue inflammation most especially if there was an infection or pain before the procedure. This pain or sensitivity can, however, be taken care of by using over-the-counter pain medications such as naproxen or ibuprofen. By the next day, most patients are able to carry on with their normal activities.
It is also very advisable to minimize on chewing with the tooth under repair until your root canal procedure has been completely done. This is to ensure that the interior of the tooth under repair does not become recontaminated and also, to prevent a fragile tooth from getting fractured before full restoration can occur.
The importance of brushing, flossing, and use of antiseptic mouthwash cannot be overemphasized. These should do properly and regularly just as visiting your dentist as well.
Success Rate of Root Canal Therapy
Treatment with root canal is very successful generally with a success rate put at just above 95% and they can last for a lifetime.