Root Canal: All You Need to Know
A root canal is an endodontic treatment meant to clean, disinfect, and alleviate the pain from teeth infection. It is a procedure that saves an affected tooth from further damage and prepares it for future restorations or prostheses.
When do you need root canal treatment?
Our teeth are made from hard crystals that makes them one of the mightier tissues in our body. However, when teeth suffer trauma or decay due to caries, they can get infected and sick. Despite your teeth’ hardness, they have a sensitive and vital inner core called dental pulp, full of blood vessels and nerves. Therefore, a canal treatment is needed when this dental pulp is affected.
The pulp can get inflamed or infected due to various reasons. However, a root canal becomes indispensable when it gets affected irreversibly in a process called pulp necrosis. This process can be prevented, but it is unstoppable once it starts.
What are the causes of root canal treatments?
The are multiple factors that can lead to a canal treatment. Nonetheless, the most frequent causes for root canal treatment are:
- Decay problems due to deep caries, cavities, and neglecting dental treatment in general
- Injuries, accidents, or trauma to teeth
- Fractures, cracks, or chips
- Repeated or faulty dental treatments that are more profound than they should
Other constant stimuli such as severe teeth grinding can also induce pulp necrosis. Your dentist can also suggest a root canal treatment to prepare your teeth to receive prosthetic dental treatments.
What are the signs and symptoms of needing a root canal?
There are some signs that could indicate that you need an endodontic treatment:
- Pain or discomfort when eating and chewing
- Tooth pain when drinking hot and cold beverages
- Gum pimples
- Cheak swelling
- Tender and swollen gums
- Tooth pain during nights
- Vast decay, fractures, chips
- Changes in tooth color to dark tones
If your notice any of the signs and symptoms above, you might require a root canal treatment. Thereby, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible.
What are the consequences of not having a root canal treatment?
Once the tooth is infected by bacteria, the damage starts spreading to the surrounding tissues and other parts of your body. As a result, an infected pulp can lead to severe pain, swollen face, cellulitis, abscesses, and more. Moreover, in complicated cases, it can even compromise your life. Especially if you are a vulnerable patient with systemic or heart conditions. Thereby, neglecting your endodontic treatment can have multiple negative consequences to your health.
Also, remember that the infection and symptoms need the appropriate treatment to disappear and evolve correctly. Using over-the-counter medications will only prolong the situation without attacking its cause.
How is the root canal treatment procedure?
The exact protocol and steps depend on the severity and the extent of the infection. However, usually, a root canal treatment involves the following stages to achieve a cured tooth:
Evaluation and planning
During this first stage, your dentist performs a complete oral examination to determine the cause and make a diagnose. This process involves a careful medical history, oral screening, and family background. Also, your dentist might need to perform multiple tests on the affected teeth to determine their vitality. Finally, the team usually requires various x-rays, digitalized tomography, and other exams to identify and locate the root canal.
Cleaning and disinfecting
After determining the length, shape, and location of the root canal system, your dentist performs a careful procedure. Thanks to local and general anesthesia, this step is entirely painless. After numbing the area, your dentist isolates your tooth to later remove the entire infected pulp carefully. Then, he cleans and disinfects the system with specialized substances.
Sometimes, your dentist might require using a root medication in the entire system and placing a temporary filling to improve the symptoms before the next steps.
Preparing and filling
After removing all the pulp, the clinician smooths out the root canal system using specialized dental files and equipment to allow the filling process. Nowadays, dentists make the most of current technology and equipment to allow quick and safe orthodontic procedures. When the root canal system is completely ready, the clinician fills the roots with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. This plastic material seals the systems and avoids further complications.
The final restoration
Once the root canal treatment is done, your dentist can start making the new restoration over the sealed root with fillings, crowns, or inlays.
How long does it take?
The treatment time depends on many factors such as the severity, location, tooth type, age, and more. However, the process can be quite fast in the hands of a specialist with the appropriate tools. In mild cases, your root canal treatment might require a single session to complete the treatment. On the other hand, severe cases with abscesses and infection can need more time and sessions to heal. Even though root canal treatments have a painful and uncomfortable bad fame, they are fast and comfortable alternatives with multiple benefits for your oral health.
How to take care of a root canal treatment?
After your endodontic treatment is done, you need to have some consideration in mind. An endodontically treated tooth will not have the same strength as a vital tooth. In this treatment, removing the pulp avoids the symptoms and complications but eliminates its nerves and response. Therefore, you will not have any sensibility, pain, or discomfort on your treated tooth.
Moreover, you need to consider the following recommendations:
- Avoid chewing and using your treated tooth until the treatment is finished. Consider that, during this process, your tooth is susceptible to fractures and cracks.
- Your endodontically treated tooth can endure as long as your natural tooth if you have the appropriate dental care. Thereby, brush your teeth, use dental floss, and follow any other recommendation from your dentist.
- Finally, remember that your root canal treatment can generate some sensibility right after the procedure. Nonetheless, this discomfort can be easily countered with over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatories.
Severe Tooth Pain? – You May Need a Root Canal.
Save a damaged or infected tooth with root canal therapy. Same-day recovery. End tooth pain and sensitivity. Prevent further decay. Call us today. Patient Satisfaction.
What happens if I don’t get a root Canal?
If left untreated, the infection in the tooth can spread to other parts of the body, and in some cases can even be life threatening. If you are in need of a root canal, the infected pulp in the tooth needs to be removed.
Let’s get started. Request An Appointment for Root Canal
Dr. Rahaf Suede, DDS at Great Lakes Smiles Dental is trusted by many patients in Plymouth and surrounding areas for comprehensive dental care. She is recognized for her high quality dental treatment and patient satisfaction. Contact her now for an appointment Call (734) 459-9360Schedule an appointment