Root Canal Treatment – A Great Way to Save Your Tooth
Dental Health • June 11, 2018
Have your doctor suggested you a root canal treatment? If yes, you must know everything about the treatment.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
A root canal treatment is a process to repair and secure a damaged or infected tooth. The process involves removing the damaged tooth pulp, cleaning the area, disinfecting it, filling it, and then sealing it.
The main cause damaging the tooth pulp is a cracked tooth, deep cavity, repeated dental trauma, or tooth damage because of an illness. Since the canal of the tooth is cleansed during the process, so it is termed as ‘root canal.’
When You Need a Root Canal Treatment?
The tooth pulp is the soft tissue containing blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. The pulp lies in the tooth and extends from tooth’s crown to deep roots in the bone of jawline.
When the pulp gets injured or damaged and is unable to repair itself, it eventually dies. The major cause of such occurrences is a deep cavity or cracked tooth. These and similar problems allow the bacteria to enter into the pulp and cause an infection deep inside the tooth.
If the damaged or infected tooth is left without treatment, then it builds up pus in the root in the jawbone and forms a pus pocket known as an abscess. Formation of abscess can damage the bone around teeth. When the infected pulp is not removed, then it results in excessive pain and swelling. Failing to undertake the treatment may even end you in a situation to get your tooth removed.
Symptoms of a Damaged or Infected Tooth Pulp
The process of the root canal is less expensive and less invasive than replacing an extracted tooth. So, if you experience any one or all the signs, then you must undertake a root canal treatment immediately.
- Pain in Tooth
Having pain in the tooth is an indication that your tooth needs professional attention. Pain in tooth gets worse with time and may even come and go. It is vital to remember that the tooth pain goes away without securing any help from the dentist. The best approach is to get a root canal treatment done as soon as you notice the first signs.
- Swelling of Jaw, Gums, or Face
A root canal is recommended for patients experiencing severe infection and damage in the gums or roots. The infection results in intense inflammation and swelling of the gum tissue, face, or jaw. Such symptoms indicate the presence of infection in the respective area. Your doctor would evaluate the situation through a dental X-ray. Accordingly, he would take appropriate action.
- A pimple or Fistula on Gums
A fistula appears like a pimple and offers a drainage outlet for the pus generated because of infection. The fistula can prevent severe pain and swelling, but it cannot stop the infection from spreading. As a result, the infection would continue to grow.
Root canal process is one way to eliminate the bacteria linked with the infection and enable the body to heal. It is a highly effective process in most of the situations, and within a few weeks, the tooth is infection free.
What to Expect in a Root Canal Treatment?
If your doctor suggests you with a root canal treatment, then you need to understand that the process is not a simple one. It involves a series of steps followed systematically to ensure that the damaged and infected pulp is removed, and the tooth is sealed from further damage.
The root canal process involves various steps such as:
- Taking an X-ray
If your dentists suspect you with a root canal, then his first step would be to take an X-ray. An X-ray is done to identify the depth of damage and to examine the accurate location of the decayed tooth.
- Giving Anesthesia
Once the correct location of the damaged tooth is located, the next step is to offer the patient with local anesthesia. It is administered to the damaged tooth. Local anesthesia is administered because the root canal treatment process is more painful than general tooth filling process.
As the third step, a tiny opening is made, and the infected pulp is removed from the tooth.
Once the entire infected pulp is removed from the root, the roots are then filled with gutta-percha material. It is then sealed off with a cement-like material.
In order to secure the tooth and to ensure that the tooth does not get infected again, it is covered with a crown. The crown is either metal based or ceramic based.
Caring for Your Tooth Post Root Canal Treatment
Once the root canal procedure gets completed, it is mandatory to follow your dentist’s instructions properly. Besides this, there are some tips you must follow after the root canal treatment.
- Take Prescriptions as Suggested
An infected tooth is highly painful. If you don’t want to experience the pain again, you must follow prescribed medicines and antibiotics as directed to prevent any additional infection.
- Keep a Check at Your Pain Levels
It is possible to relieve the discomfort after a root canal treatment with over-the-counter medications. Most of the people experience the pain for a short time period. Hence, if you experience any pain for a short time period, you must contact your dentist on an immediate basis.
- Keep Your Tooth Clean
Make sure you keep your gums and tooth clean, especially at the area where root canal has occurred. You must maintain oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and gently rinsing the mouth.
- Avoid Consuming Certain Foods
Any food, which is difficult to chew, crunch, or hard to eat must be avoided for a couple of days after a root canal. Also, your tooth must be temporarily sensitive to cold and hot food items. Hence, you must consume food at room temperature and one with a soft texture.
- Get a Crown for Your Tooth
The tooth would remain more intact if you get a crown attached to it. A crown also prevents further complications and promotes high functionality.
A root canal treatment is great to relieve pain, save the tooth, and enhance overall health. It is an excellent way to save your teeth. But the best way is to keep your gums and teeth healthy. At the same time, plan regular check-ups and regular hygiene treatments with your dentist.
If you have a painful tooth, you must seek immediate medical assistance and contact the experts.