Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is a procedure to save your teeth and relieve your dental pain. Patients associate root canal with pain but it is only experienced before the treatment, not after. You need to book an appointment with the dentist as soon as you feel a little pain or sensitivity in your tooth. You can avoid a root canal if your tooth’s nerve isn’t infected and your tooth is not too damaged or decayed.
If you delay seeing the dentist and use painkillers to avoid toothache it is likely that your tooth’s condition would worsen over time. Your pain could become severe a few hours before you reach the dentist to get root canal therapy or a dental implant.
You need a root canal treatment if there is an infection or inflammation in the roots of your teeth. It is a straightforward procedure to carefully clean, disinfect, shape your root canal after removing the pulp inside the tooth and sealing the space with a filling. Flossing and brushing cannot relieve you from the pain, get your appointment or consultation with Dental Made Easy today!
What Is a Root Canal?
When a tooth’s nerve becomes inflamed, infected, or irritated you need a root canal treatment to save and repair it from getting badly decayed. A root canal treatment is used to repair teeth with decay, cracks, chips, large fillings, and repeated dental procedures.
Root canal treatment is not more painful than having a filling placed. Instead, if you leave an infected tooth in your mouth abscess will form as the surrounding tissues become infected. During the procedure, the dentist will remove the tooth’s nerve and pulp, clean it, and seal it will fill.
Why it is necessary to remove the tooth’s nerve and pulp?
The tooth’s nerve is not crucial to its function and health as it comes through the gums. So, the removal of the nerve won’t affect the function of your tooth. Nerve’s only purpose is to enable the sense of hot and cold.
Damaged or broken nerve tissue and pulp can multiply bacteria within the pulp chamber. The decayed debris and bacteria can abscess and infect your tooth. An abscess occurs when the infection spreads past the end of the tooth’s roots and forms a pus-filled pocket. A tooth infection can also lead to swelling in the head, neck, and face. It can cause bone loss around the root tip. Drainage can extend from the root outwardly, causing holes in the side of the tooth.
How do you know that you need a root canal?
You may notice these signs if you need a root cancel treatment.
- Sensitivity to cold and heat that lingers
- The deep decayed or damaged tooth
- Swollen gums
- Painful gums
- Biting or chewing is causes a sharp pain
- Cracked or chipped tooth
- Gums pimples
What are Some Root Canal Alternatives?
Your dentist will always recommend you to save your natural teeth as it is the best option possible with the root canal treatment. An alternative solution could be tooth extraction and replacement with a bridge or implant. A root canal is a cost-effective option that saves your time and allows you to eat a wider food variety by saving your teeth. Other alternatives are time taking and expensive including removable partial dentures
How can I prevent a root canal?
There are simple things you can incorporate into your routine to avoid your teeth from getting infected, decayed, or damaged; such as:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss your teeth at least once a day
- Regularly visit a dentist
- If you play sports wear a mouth guard to avoid injuries
- Protect your teeth from repetitive dental procedures
How is a Root Canal Procedure Performed?
A root canal procedure is performed by a dentist or endodontist. Your general dentist might suggest you visit an endodontist if your tooth is more complex. An endodontist is a specialized dentist in the diagnosis, causes, prevention, and treatment of the injuries and diseases of the nerve or pulp of the tooth. The root canal procedure involves the following steps:
- The first step of the procedure is to take an X-ray of your teeth to determine the shape of your tooth and signs of infection surrounding the bone.
- Local anesthesia is applied to numb the area near the infected tooth. It is not needed if your nerve is dead but to make you feel relaxed dentists prefer to anesthetize the area.
- Your dentist uses a rubber dam to keep your mouth dry and free from saliva by placing it around the tooth under treatment.
- The dentist drills access into the infected tooth to remove the nerve tissue, bacteria, and pulp. Root canal files are used to clean the area by placing them in the access hole, down the length of your tooth. A series of root canal files are scrubbed on the root canal sides.
- To flush away the debris sodium hypochlorite or water is sprayed in the area.
- After cleaning, your mouth is sealed thoroughly. Some dentists put medicine inside the tooth to clear up the infection, while others might seal the tooth after cleaning on the same day. If the seal isn’t placed on the same day your dentist will place a temporary filling in your tooth’s exterior hole to keep out food and saliva before the next appointment.
- In your next appointment, a rubber compound and sealed paste are placed into the root canal to fill the interior. The access hole at the exterior created for treatment will be closed with a filling.
- The final step depends on the level of tooth decay or other weaknesses. To restore your tooth your dentist will discuss the additional dental work required; such as you might need a crown to protect your tooth.
How quickly can I recover from a root canal treatment?
You may need to wait for a few hours until the numbness is gone after a root canal. You shouldn’t eat for an hour or two, if a crown is placed on your tooth and numbness is still there. Else, it is completely fine to start your routine activities like work, studies, etc.
A few days after the completion of your root canal procedure you might feel sensitivity because of the inflammation in tissues, due to the prior infection or pain. Most people won’t need medicine to avoid minor sensitivity. But you can use naproxen or ibuprofen as over-the-counter pain medications. It is recommended to avoid chewing your tooth while it is still under treatment or a permanent filling or crown isn’t placed.
Your tooth can become fragile if not kept clean or broken if it isn’t fully restored and used. Regularly clean your teeth with brush, floss, and mouthwash to avoid further tooth complications. It’s better to see your dentist regularly after the treatment at scheduled intervals.
What complications might occur after the treatment?
After the root canal treatment, your tooth needs retreatment if there is an undetected crack in the tooth’s root, the sealing material breakdowns over time, and bacteria get access into the inner tooth and re-contaminating it. In most cases, retreatment can fix the issue but in a more complicated tooth condition, you might need surgery to save your tooth.
Apicoectomy is the most common procedure used to relieve you from infections; like at the end of your tooth or bony area. In this procedure end of the root (infected tissue) is removed by opening the gum tissue. Lastly, the filling is placed to seal the canal.
How do I know the Root Canal Procedure will be successful?
The success rate of Root canal treatment is very high, up to 95%. Many times this procedure lasts for a lifetime so you can be sure that this procedure is highly successful.
What is the cost of Root Canal Treatment?
Generally, a dentist could charge from $1,000 to $1,500, depending on the structure of your tooth, severity of your problem, and size and condition of the infection. An endodontist might charge 50% higher than a general dentist.