Most of us associate root canal with pain and suffering as this is the general impression when we talk about dental procedures and treatment. On the contrary, root canal treatment is actually a means of stopping the pain, swelling and the suffering that occurs as a result of tooth problems. In simple terms, a
root canal treatment is the process which removes the affected tissues from the root canal of the tooth and leaves it cleans and disinfected, filling the resulting void with crown.
What is a Root Canal?
The term root canal describes the tiny hollow within the tooth which extends from the tip of the root to the center of the crown, the part of the tooth which is visible above the gum. This natural space inside the tooth is filled with the tooth’s nerve network and soft connective tissue as well as blood vessels which keep the tooth healthy and nourished.
You might need a root canal treatment when the tooth’s internal soft tissues get inflamed or infected. As this tissue has many nerves in it, this inflammation and infection leads to pain, even severe pain in some cases if the infection turns into full-blown abscess.
What leads to root canal treatment?
Some of the main things that lead to root canal treatment are:
• Decay which leads to inflammation and infection inside the tooth root
• Tooth trauma in form of an impact from accident, injury or repeated cavities and fillings
• Crack or fracture in the tooth
• Lost filling
When the inside of a tooth gets infected or inflamed, you need to visit a dentist who will determine the cause of the problem and determine the extent to which it has affected the tooth and determine if it needs the root canal treatment.
With root canal treatment it has become possible for dentists to save a tooth which was otherwise lost due to a diseased or injured nerve. This procedure can require three to four visits to the dentist but these trips should not be dreaded as they are means to alleviate the pain and suffering which you are already going through. The best thing to know about this mode of treatment is that it can actually help to retain your tooth and save your natural smile, boosting your confidence and maintaining general oral health.
How root canal treatment works?
Root canal treatment works by saving the damaged pulp in the root canal of the tooth. Each tooth contains pulp that provides the nutrients to the nerves and this pulp is connected with the root. If the pulp gets infected, diseased or injured, it can destroy the tissue which in turn infects the tooth and if it is not taken care of on time, you can end up losing the tooth.
With help of root canal therapy, the dentist can extract the diseased or infected pulp, reshape the canal and seal it to keep the tooth protected and strong by fitting a crown on it.
How do I know I require a root canal treatment?
If you are suffering from painful tooth, you must know that it cannot heal on its own and the infection can spread, causing further pain and suffering. Pus can develop at the root tip in the jawbone and results in a pus-pocket also known as an abscess. This abscess can cause damage to the bone surrounding the teeth, the pain will keep on increasing and it will eventually break down your teeth.
You can prevent all this pain and suffering and loss of teeth if you take timely action and visit your dentist who will administer root canal treatment as this is the best way to save the tooth and get it treated. Some people might feel that it is expensive but the other option to alleviate the pain is to have the tooth extracted but this is not an easy way out and you will be left with a space and the consequences including a bad bite as the surrounding teeth shift into crooked positions. In this case, you will have to go for a bridge or an implant which is even more expensive than a root canal and ultimately it’s an artificial tooth.
How the root canal process takes place?
A root canal treatment can need up to three or sometimes even four visits to the dentist, depending on your tooth condition and the way the process goes. Here are the key steps of the process:
=> An opening is created through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber and the infected pulp is removed
=> The root canal is thoroughly cleaned, enlarged and shaped so that it can be filled
=> Medication and treatment is administrated into the pulp chamber and the root canal so that no harmful bacteria remains and there is no chance of any infection or pus
=> In the next step, the dentist can either leave the tooth uncovered for a couple of days to let it dry or put in temporary filling to protect the tooth before the actual fitting takes place in the later visit. You might also be given medicine to keep the infection at bay.
=> The temporary filling is removed when the time comes and the pulp chamber and the root canals are cleaned, filled and sealed.
=> A gold or porcelain crown is placed over the tooth which ensures that the tooth is protected and looks and functions just like an original one.
How long will the root canal treatment last and are there any risks?
The root canal treatment resorts your original teeth and it can last for a long time, even a lifetime but it depends on several factors. It is important that roots of the treated tooth are kept nourished by the surrounding tissue. Good oral hygiene as well as regular checkups play a key role in helping the root canal treatment intact and make it last for a longer period of time.
The biggest risk that a tooth in need of root canal treatment faces is abscess at the root of the tooth which breaks the bone tissue and if this happens, it becomes impossible to save the tooth as it results in tooth falling out. Not only this, but the infection can spread to the adjoining teeth too which can result in swollen face and neck, blood poisoning and fever. In most of the cases, patients undergoing root canal treatment do not report facing any risks or problems and are highly satisfied with the way the dentists address their problem. It is only in rare cases that the treatment has to be redone and that too due to fracture of the canal filling instrument or when a diseased canal remained undetected.
There might be some discomfort or uneasiness in the beginning to the inflammation of tissues or adjustment of the crown but it all settles down with time. Follow up visits with your dentist can ensure that your tissues heal the right way and good oral hygiene will help too.
Root canal treatment is one of the most popular as well as highly reliable means of saving a tooth and getting it treated so that it can last for a long time. With a root canal treatment you can enjoy an impressive personality and confidence boost as it gives you the opportunity to look your best with a charming and beautiful smile that can win hearts.
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