When is Root Canal Treatment necessary to perform?

Root Canal Treatment

A root canal is a restorative dental procedure to save teeth that would otherwise be extracted. Root canal treatment helps to maintain the natural aesthetics and functions of the mouth.

The superficial part of a tooth that is the only visible part to the outside is known as the ‘crown’, and the’ roots’ hold the tooth inside the jawbone. Inside the roots, we have dental pulp, which contains nerves. The pulpal tissue inside the roots is called the ‘root canals’. If harmful bacteria get into the pulp, they infect and damage it.

You may need a root canal treatment when you have,

  • Grossly broken down teeth exposing the pulp
  • Deep caries which have extended into the pulp
  • After a complicated trauma to the tooth, which has cracked up to the pulp

The symptoms indicating that you need a root canal are,

  • Increased sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Sudden spontaneous toothache
  • Pain on biting
  • Swelling in the mouth
  • Abscess formation with pus discharging

This is how your dentist may carry out the root canal treatment.

  1. First, your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth, identify the causes of the damage and carry out the treatment planning according to the condition of your mouth.
  2. He will numb the affected tooth site by giving a local anaesthetic injection before the procedure so you won’t feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
  3. Then he will place an appliance called a rubber dam around the infected tooth to isolate the treatment site from the rest of the mouth. Rubber dam ensures your safety by preventing the sharp instruments from accidentally falling into the throat and keeping the chemicals out of the soft tissues because the chemicals used during the root canal treatment are strong and can burn the soft tissues.
  4. Your dentist will then remove the decay and infection from the inside of your tooth using high-speed rotary instruments.
  5. Small files will be used to remove the nerves and infection inside the tooth’s root canals.
  6. The tooth will be cleaned and disinfected, and a rubber material called gutta-percha will be placed to fill the space inside the root canals and seal them.
  7. Eventually, a filling or a dental crown will be placed to seal the tooth.
  8. The dentist may prescribe pain and anti-inflammatory medications along with some antibiotics.

So, the root canal treatment will only take one or two days. Many dentists recommend placing a crown on root canal-treated teeth because there’s an increased risk of fracturing after the procedure. A crown can be made of metal or porcelain and essentially acts to strengthen your tooth.

What can you expect after a root canal?

It’s normal to experience some discomfort for several days after root canal treatment. This should subside within a few days or maximally within a week and is not a cause to be alarmed by.

How long does a root canal-treated tooth last?

If you follow the recommended post-operative care with good oral hygiene, a root canal-treated tooth will last a decade or even a lifetime.