A Root Canal Therapy: Procedure, Risks, and Recovery

A Root Canal Therapy: Procedure, Risks, and Recovery

Dec 01, 2019

What is Root Canal Therapy?

A root canal treatment or endodontic treatment is a restorative dental procedure done by either dentist or endodontist and it involves the removal of decayed nerve and pulp. On your dental appointment, the dentist will remove the pulp, clean it off and fill it with a sealant. Afterward, you will get a crown to protect the tooth from further damage.

How Does Pulp Get Infected?

Pulp or nerve tissue’s primary role is sensory—it helps detect hot and cold matter. Recurrent tooth decay and multiple dental restoration trauma can cause the pulp to get inflamed.

As a result, the pulp can break giving room for bacteria to grow in the pulp chamber, and if left untreated, the bacteria can affect the surrounding teeth.

So, the main intent or purpose of root canal therapy is to stop the spread and repair the dead tooth.

What is the Difference Between Root Canal Treatments and Tooth Extractions?

A root canal and a tooth extraction are different treatments addressing the same problem. A root canal is done to preserve your tooth. Tooth extraction, on the other hand, is done as a last resort or when the tooth damage is severe.

Once the tooth is extracted you can opt for dental treatments such as implants, bridges, dentures to replace the missing teeth and restore the normal dental function.

What’s The Root Canal Procedure

The procedure can be done in one dental visit or two depending on the severity of the tooth decay. The initial consultation involves dental assessment and examination. The dentist will also discuss with you the treatment plan and any risks involved.

As aforementioned, the dentist will remove the decayed nerve or pulp and do a deep cleaning, and a dental filling or sealant is placed on the root cavity.

You may get local anesthesia, although it’s unnecessary as the nerve is already dead.

Are There Any Risks or Complications?

Yes, a root canal therapy might have complications such as;

  • Multiple canals. Your teeth may have more two or three canals which are normally hard to find and remove them. If the dentist misses any of the canals, it can cause the infection to spread to the surrounding teeth.
  • Inadequate dental filling. Under or overfilling of the root cavity can cause the treatment to fail
  • Improper seal. The inner seal placed in the tooth can erode after some time allowing bacteria to grow into the root of your tooth. The dentist will discuss with you the proper way to care for your teeth to prevent this from happening.

To address these complications, endodontic retreatment can be done, but in severe cases, oral surgery is performed to save the tooth.

It is important to have the procedure done by a qualified dentist to increase the chances of success. Additionally, follow the aftercare instructions given and notify the dentist if you notice swelling or irritation.

What to Expect

Root canal therapy is not painful. However, soon after the anesthesia wears off, you will feel pain and soreness. You may also experience tooth sensitivity due to inflammation. This pain can clear up with the help of pain relievers.

Apart from taking medications, you need to ensure you don’t disturb the tooth and gum. Avoid things like hard, crunchy, spicy and sticky foods during recovery. Plus, limit sugar intake and quit smoking.

Can I Avoid Root Canals?

Yes. Seeing that pulp infection and inflammation is caused by tooth decay, having good dental hygiene practices will go a long way. Also, use mouth guards when playing high impact sports to prevent mouth injuries. Don’t forget to have your bi-annual dental checkups.

Final Thoughts

Most people experience positive results after root canal therapy. However, the success of the treatment will depend on your dental hygiene, so make the necessary changes.

If you still need more information on root canal therapy, contact our dental team at West Humber Dentistry for an appointment. We will be happy to assess dental status as well as answer all your questions.

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