Root Canal Treatment
Root canal therapy, also known as endodontics ("endo" - within, "dont" - tooth), is a group of specialist operations used to address issues with the delicate pulp (nerve) tissue inside the tooth. While some people wrongly believe it is an incredibly harsh treatment, in most situations, it is no more painful than having a filling. It's one of the most effective methods of treating dental pain.
When inflammation or infection develops in the tooth's pulp tissue, a root canal operation is required. Pulp tissue is made up of connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerve cells, which explains why a malfunction here can cause severe discomfort. The agony may fade with time... at least briefly. However, the infection will not go away until treated. It can result in a tooth abscess and possibly systemic disorders in other sections of the body.
Root Canal Treatment Is Your Friend
The comic saying "I'd rather have a root canal..." we've all heard. This equation is for the process, which is something genuinely dreadful. But nowadays, the notion that a root canal operation is inevitably fraught with difficulties and suffering is an old tale. Infection or inflammation in the pulp of the tooth can be exceedingly painful. However, remember that having a root canal relieves the acute pain and is not the source of the discomfort.
Another reason you shouldn't delay root canal treatment is to consider if a natural tooth preserved by root canal treatment and restoration helps you avoid the difficulties that are typical when teeth must be removed. These include unwanted tooth migration or displacement, which can cause chewing difficulty; the necessity for bridgework or dental implants, which can be costly; and even eventual bone structure loss in the location of the missing tooth.
Causes of Root Canal Problems
Infection and inflammation of the tooth's pulp tissue cause root canal complications. Deep dental decay is a possible source of infection. Untreated dental cavities eventually allow germs to infiltrate the pulp tissue in the tooth's interior. Bacteria may also come into contact with pulp through broken or damaged teeth. Bacteria can enter the tooth's pulp through any breach in the protective enamel layer.
Trauma to the tooth, such as caused by a sports injury or a car accident, is another vital cause of pulp tissue destruction. In this instance, it's critical to get treatment very once, both to save the tooth and to avoid future complications.
In rare circumstances, substantial dental procedures may cause pulp tissue damage that must be addressed with a root canal. Many fillings or restorations on the same tooth raise the risk of this sort of harm. Common treatments, including dental crown preparation or orthodontics, may occasionally result in root canal complications.
What to Expect During Root Canal Therapy
If an examination reveals that you require root canal therapy, don't be alarmed; it's one of the most regular and effective operations in the dentist's arsenal, and it can frequently be completed in just one appointment.
The root canal procedure typically begins in the same manner as a filling does, and with little more discomfort: an anesthetic is delivered to numb the tooth and surrounding region. For many patients, the worst is already behind them.
The pulp chamber and root canals are then accessed through a tiny hole in the surface of the afflicted tooth. To remove the dead and dying pulp tissue from inside these tight pathways, tiny devices are employed, often with the use of a microscope. The chamber and empty canals are then cleansed and disinfected before being filled with inert, biocompatible material. Finally, sticky cement is applied to the tooth opening to prevent further infection.
For a few days after root canal treatment, your tooth may experience sensitivity or pain. Over-the-counter pain medicines such as ibuprofen are often useful in alleviating discomfort, although prescription drugs may be used if necessary. During this time, it may be beneficial to avoid biting down on the impacted tooth. All these symptoms, however, should only last a short time.
A crown or other treatment is frequently required to further protect the tooth and return it to full function. Traditional gold crowns can be replaced with dental reproductions composed of high-tech tooth-colored material. In either scenario, you will have made an investment in the future of your oral health.
Signs and Symptoms of Root Canal Problems
How can you tell whether you need a root canal? Usually, it is painfully obvious. Suppose you are experiencing frequent and severe pain and pressure in your mouth, visible swelling, and high sensitivity in your gums. In that case, it is apparent that you require immediate examination and treatment. Sharp discomfort while biting down on food is another sign of pulp tissue injury. Lingering discomfort after eating hot or cold foods is another sign of concern. If you detect any of these symptoms, you should apply for medical attention as soon as possible.