Nothing is as good as a natural tooth! And sometimes your natural tooth may need root canal (endodontic) treatment for it to remain a healthy part of your mouth. Most patients report that having root canal (endodontic) treatment today is as unremarkable as having a cavity filled.
Teeth are held in the jaw by their roots. Inside each tooth is the “pulp” or “nerve” which supplies nourishment and sensation to the tooth. Root canals are very small, thin canals that branch off from the pulp chamber down to the tip of the root. A tooth has at least one but no more than four root canals.
When the pulp or root canal is diseased or injured, it “dies”. If you don’t remove the dead tissues your tooth gets infected and you could lose it. Inflamed or infected pulp (pulpitis) most often causes a toothache. To relieve the pain and prevent further complications, the tooth may be extracted (surgically removed) or saved by root canal treatment.
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure in which the diseased or damaged pulp (core) of a tooth is removed and cleaned out of any infection in the pulp and root canals.The inside areas (the pulp chamber and root canals) are filled and sealed.
Regardless of the initial cause, the tooth pulp becomes irritated and infected. Bacteria grows within the tooth pulp, causing pressure and if a cavity forms and is allowed to go untreated for too long, it can penetrate to the root pulp where and infection can occur pain, sometimes accompanied by swelling of the face. Sometimes the deterioration of the pulp happens so gradually that little pain is felt. Regardless of the amount of pain felt, eventually the bacteria can destroy the pulp.
If a tooth has an abscess it can firstly cause severe pain, but not always. Some abscesses can be surprisingly painless. Nevertheless, the infection at the root tips can spread into the surrounding bone and soft tissues and cause more serious infections there that could cause swelling and pain. Bacteria also enter the blood stream and can infect other parts of the body. Prosthetic hip and knee joints and heart valves are particularly prone to infection. Patients with other health problems could also be at higher risk.
Root canal treatment is performed under local anesthesia. A thin sheet of rubber, called a rubber dam, is placed in the mouth to isolate the tooth. The dentist removes any tooth decay and makes an opening through the natural crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber. Creating this access also relieves the pressure inside the tooth and can dramatically ease pain.
The dentist determines the length of the root canals, usually with a series of x rays. Small wire-like files are then used to clean the entire canal space of diseased pulp tissue and bacteria. The debris is flushed out with large amounts of water (irrigation). The canals are also slightly enlarged and shaped to receive an inert (non-reactive) filling material called gutta percha. However, the tooth is not filled and permanently sealed until it is completely free of active infection. Once the canals are completely clean, they are filled with gutta percha and a sealer cement to prevent bacteria from entering the tooth in the future.
Once the root canal treatment has been completed, you should consider the following:
Brittleness a non-vital (endodontically treated) tooth is more brittle than a vital one and is more susceptible to fracture. Placing a suitable final restoration is almost as important as the root treatment itself. If the restoration leaks bacteria can migrate down the side of the root sealer and re-infect the tooth. In most cases, we recommend that your root canal tooth be crowned (gold or porcelain crown) following treatment.
Loss of tooth structure from dental caries (cavities), prior fillings, and endodontic care frequently results in weakening of the tooth. Teeth which are structurally weakened are prone to fracture, which can lead to tooth loss. A special restoration called a post-and-core is commonly needed to reinforce weakened teeth and a good way to insure against a serious fracture is to crown the tooth.
Discoloration you may notice that your endodontically treated tooth (especially a front tooth) has undergone a change in color. Though this discoloration is of no medical concern, you may be interested in having the teeth whitening. Be sure to ask us about Tooth Whitening if we do not decide to place a crown on the tooth.
Q: What is Root Canal Treatment?
A: is the removal of the tooth nerve and the pulp in the infected tooth cavity to relieve pain or save a tooth.
Q: What are the common signs Root Canal is needed?
A: These are symptoms to watch out for:
Q: How long can a tooth survive after root canal?
A: Teeth that have been treated or rehabilitated can stay alive if proper care is observed.
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