Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is a procedure to clean and restore an infected tooth which is damaged by deep cavities or some external factors like trauma, fracture or wear and tear over longer duration.
Root canal treatment becomes necessary when the core or the pulp tissue inside the tooth gets infected or inflamed. This is the best way to save the tooth rather than to pull it out and place an artificial replacement. Success rate of root canal procedure is exceeding to 90 percent where tooth remains functional , pain free and helps in chewing.
Signs and symptoms
- Pain :- pain is the most common symptom if a tooth’s vital part or pulp is affected. Pain can be sharp or excruciating particularly while having some cold or hot food. Patient can feel the pain while biting or chewing. Pain also aggravates while sleeping or lying down position.
- Swelling in the gums near to infected tooth
- Sometimes an abscess forms in the gums that drains out pus or infection from the roots of the tooth.
- Pain may radiate to head or jaws and patient may feel severe headache.
- Tooth discoloration also occurs in some cases becuase soft tissues in the tooth are non vital.
What your dentist checks for it
1 ) x rays are taken to confirm the diagnosis.
2 ) when patient bites on an instrument that is kept between the teeth some pressure or pain can be felt.
3 ) dentist check Vitality of the pulp with electronic pulp tester .
Procedure of root canal treatment
1) Anesthesia is given locally to numb the affected tooth
2) Tooth is isolated with a rubber sheet or cotton to ensure the least contamination with external environment or microorganisms present inside the mouth.
3) An opening is made from the center of the tooth to the pulp canal. Newer techniques enable dentist to see the minor opening of root canal with a microscope.
4) After opening is made through the walls of tooth or pulp chamber, very thin needle like instruments known as files of different diameter are inserted to clean the non vital pulp tissues ,nerves and debris from the root canal.
5) Tooth is cleaned and irrigated with water and sodium hypochlorite which acts as a disinfectant.
6) once all pulp tissue comes out proper irrigation is done .
7) After 2 , 3 days these canal are filled and packed with root canal filling materials available as gutta percha, resin bonded restorative materials etc.
Once root canal treatment is done patient may feel immediate relief of that intense pain with a fast recovery. Sometimes antibiotics are also require during and after the procedure.
It is advised to avoid chewing food from the root canal treated side to face any discomfort for some days after treatment.
A crown made up of porcelain or metal is placed over the root canal treated tooth because these teeth are more vulnerable to fracture.
It is very important to maintain a very good oral hygiene after a root canal treatment. Proper brushing and flossing ensure a healthy environment inside the mouth. A six month visit to dentist is always appreciable for a routine dental check up.