Root canal treatment is a procedure to clean and restore an infected tooth that is damaged by deep cavities or some external factors like trauma, fracture, or wears and tear over a 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. The success rate of root canal procedure is exceeding 90 percent where the 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. The patient can feel the pain while biting or chewing. Pain also aggravates while sleeping or lying down position.
Swelling in the gums near the 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 the head or jaws and the patient may feel severe headaches
Tooth discoloration also occurs in some cases because soft tissues in the tooth are nonvital.
What your dentist checks for it
1 ) x rays are taken to confirm the diagnosis.
2 ) when the patient bites on an instrument that is kept between the teeth some pressure or pain can be felt.
3 ) dentist checks the Vitality of the pulp with an electric pulp tester.
The 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 the 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 dentists to see the minor opening of the root canal with a microscope.
4) After the opening is made through the walls of the tooth or pulp chamber, very thin needle-like instruments known as files of different diameters are inserted to clean the nonvital 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 canals are filled and packed with root canal filling materials available as gutta-percha, resin bonded restorative materials.
Once root canal treatment is done patient may feel immediate relief from that intense pain with a fast recovery. Sometimes antibiotics are also required 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 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 the dentist is always appreciable for a routine dental check-up.