The endodontic Root Canal Treatment, often known as root canal therapy, is used to treat infected dental pulp. To understand this we first need to know that a tooth is made up of two parts: the crown, which is visible in the mouth, and the root, which is buried in the jaw bone. Enamel, dentin, and tooth pulp are the three layers that make up a crown. A tooth structure is made up of these 3 layers. The dental pulp, which contains blood vessels and nerves, is the living part of the tooth that begins at the root and runs to the crown area.
The dental pulp is responsible for keeping the tooth alive by providing it with nutrients and blood supply. The bacteria which exists in the mouth can cause inflammation in the tooth layers (enamel, dentine, and pulp), and if it is left untreated it leads to dental pulp necrosis (death).
An infected pulp can occur for a variety of reasons:
- A deep dental cavity/decayed tooth that penetrates the pulp.
- A leaky, loose filling that collects germs beneath a filling surface, resulting in secondary deterioration.
- A tooth that has been injured due to trauma: Trauma can occur for a variety of reasons, including a fall, munching on hard food that causes a crack, or a chipped tooth that exposes the pulp to oral germs.
Symptoms of the infected dental pulp
A pulp infection causes swelling in the gums around the tooth (usually it appears as a pimple on the gums), sensitivity, and pain when chewing or biting. Prolonged sensitivity to cold/hot, as well as pain during chewing, are possible common symptoms of infected pulp. However, a patient may or may not feel pain in the early stages or after the pulp is necrosed (this varies from patient to patient). Usually, these symptoms are prominent during the necrosis or inflammation stage.
What are the benefits of root canal therapy?
If the tooth pulp is infected and patients complain of sensitivity to hot and cold, as well as pain during chewing, root canal therapy is indicated. If the infection advances, these symptoms will fade away, and the tooth will pretend to be cured, but the infection spreads through the roots and the pulp dies hence cutting the blood supply, nutrients, and sensations to the tooth. As a result, it is critical to treat an infected tooth because leaving it unaddressed will only worsen the situation.
A dead pulp will gather more bacteria over time, resulting in pus formation. This pus may flow out through the gums or travel to other tissues or places (sinuses) in the head and neck region. If the infection spreads to the facial spaces, it can be fatal.
If a root canal is not achievable, an extraction may be suggested. However, extraction is far more difficult, necessitating additional treatments such as implants to cover the space. Furthermore, additional procedures will demand additional time & expense. Therefore, root canal therapy as advised by your dentist or endodontist is safest.
Our dentist Dr. Naveed Anwar will perform a thorough clinical and radiographic assessment after establishing an initial medical and dental history. Following the examinations, a treatment and care plan will be developed. A local anesthetic will be administered to the treatment region on the day of the procedure. The tooth is then isolated using a rubber dam to keep the area dry and free of microorganisms. The canals of the tooth are then accessed by opening the tooth chamber from the occlusal (chewing area). The canals will then be cleaned microscopically with highly specialized hand and power dental instruments. After that, biocompatible materials will be used to fill the root canals. To keep the region clean, the chamber is then temporarily sealed with a temporary filling material.
The treated tooth is inspected at the next session to see if the roots are healing or responding appropriately to the filling material. The tooth chamber is then prepared for permanent filling, and measurements will then be taken to create a crown for the treated tooth. In the following visit, a crown/cap is cemented onto the tooth.
Remember: After the treatment, you may feel mild pain or discomfort, which will typically subside with time. It is vital to keep the area clean with regular oral hygiene procedures.
Is a tooth crown or cap required after root canal treatment?
Yes, after a root canal, a tooth crown or cap is required. When the tooth pulp is removed, the nutrients that the dental pulp formerly delivered are no longer available. The tooth becomes hollow and is unable to withstand the opposing tooth stresses, resulting in cracks and fragility. The crown/cap protects the tooth from cracks and fractures by absorbing the opposing dental forces.
Is root canal therapy a painful procedure?
Since a numbing agent (anesthesia) is injected to numb the region, the therapy is painless. For a few days, however, some discomfort or pain may be felt.
For how many days after root canal treatment do I have to keep the treated tooth clean?
It is essential to keep the mouth clean all the time, regardless of if any treatment is being performed or not. For good oral health, meticulous oral hygiene is mandatory.
We at our dental clinic perform root canal treatments following international standards and protocols. Contact Dental Sense if you have any queries. Please feel free to contact us at our given numbers.