A root canal therapy 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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, a root canal therapy might have complications such as;
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.
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.
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.
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 for an appointment. We will be happy to assess dental status as well as answer all your questions.