Why Do People Need Root Canal Treatment?
A dental procedure for removing the soft center of the tooth, the pulp is known as a root canal treatment
. The pulp is home to blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that help nourish the tooth when it is developing.
In most cases, the procedure will be performed by a general dentist or an endodontist after administering local anesthesia to you. Learn more about this common procedure as well as some risks that are involved.
When Does a Root Canal Become Necessary?
When the soft inner portion of the tooth which is the pulp becomes injured or inflamed it necessitates the need for a root canal. The visible portion of the tooth above the gum line which is the crown remains intact even when the pulp inside is dead. Root canal removal is just about removing the injured or infected pulp and is the best way to preserve the structure of the tooth.
Some of the common reasons that may damage the pulp include:
- Untreated cavities causing deep decay.
- A tooth undergoing multiple dental procedures.
- Chips or cracks in the tooth.
- Injuries to the tooth causing damages to the pulp despite not cracking the tooth.
The symptoms you can experience from damaged pulp include a painful tooth along with swelling and a sensation of heat in the gums. The painful tooth will be examined by the dentist by taking x-rays for confirming the diagnosis. You may be referred to an endodontist if the dentist believes you need a root canal.
How Is the Procedure Performed?
Root canal therapy in Markham is performed in a dental office.
The first step in the procedure is to administer local anesthesia into your gums near the affected tooth. You will remain awake during the procedure but will feel no pain because of the anesthesia.
When the tooth is entirely numb the endodontist or general dentist will begin the procedure for root canal removal. They will be making a small opening on the top of the tooth to expose the pulp. The specialist will carefully remove the pulp by using small instruments and will pay particular attention to cleaning out all the canals in the tooth.
After the pulp has been removed the dentist will coat the area with topical antibiotics to ensure the infection is eliminated and to prevent reinfection. The dentist will also fill and seal the tooth after cleaning the canals and disinfecting them. A rubber-like material called gutta-percha will be used for filling and sealing the tooth. You may also be prescribed oral antibiotics to prevent infections.
The procedure will be completed by placing a temporary filling in a small opening on the top of the tooth with a temporary filling material. The sealant helps to prevent the canals from damages by saliva.
Follow-Up Appointments after the Root Canal
At the numbing medication wears off you will feel some soreness around the tooth and gums along with some swelling. Over-the-counter pain medications are sufficient to deal with this issue but if the problem continues should be scheduling an emergency root canal appointment with your dentist.
You will be able to resume your normal routine a day after the procedure. You will be advised to avoid chewing with the damaged tooth until it has been filled permanently with a crown over the top.
You must see your regular dentist within a few days after completing the procedure. X-rays will again be taken to ensure the infection is eliminated. The temporary filling on the tooth will be replaced by a permanent filling. You will need several weeks to get accustomed to how the tooth feels after the procedure. This is a normal occurrence and should not cause any concerns in your mind.
You can discuss with your dentist about placing a permanent crown on the tooth. The crown can be developed from porcelain or gold and function as artificial teeth. Crowns can provide your teeth with a realistic appearance.
Risks Associated with a Root Canal
The treatment is performed as an effort to preserve your tooth but can sometimes fail if the damage is too deep or the enamel has weakened to withstand the therapy. In such cases, loss of the tooth can be experienced. If you have any apprehensions about the procedure you can discuss with your dentist about having the tooth extracted but must be prepared for tooth replacements which could be in the form of a partial denture or dental implant to replace the damaged tooth.
Root canal treatments are considered a conservative restorative procedure giving you the benefit of enjoying positive results for the rest of your life as long as you take good care of your oral health. Your restored tooth needs to be brushed and flossed every day just like your natural teeth.