Root canal treatment is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it.
|Reasons why you may require root canal treatment.
|At first, decay may go unnoticed, effecting only the outer enamel of the teeth. Over time, the decay progresses to the deeper layers of tooth, and eventually damages the pulp.
Repeated dental procedures performed on a single tooth increases its risk for future root canal treatment. Reoccurring cavities may require that a tooth be filled, the filling removed to remove new decay, and filled again. This may occur if the tooth becomes cracked, chipped, or broken due to trauma or an accident.
Not only does a large filling affect the structural integrity of a tooth, it can also increase your risk for root canal treatment. If the decay or filling reaches the pulp, inflammation or infection may develop.
Cracks, chips, and other types of trauma are often the cause of a root canal procedure.
Steps of root canal treatment (depending on the situation)
- X-rays of affected tooth are examined, then local anesthesia is administered to the tooth.
- The endodontist makes an opening through the tooth to remove the diseased pulp (pulpectomy)
- The pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned and shaped in preparation for a filling.
- Root canals are filled with gutta percha material.
- If more than one visit is needed, temporary filling is placed in the crown opening to protect the tooth between visit. Temporary filling is removed and pulp chamber and root canal are permanently filled with gutta percha into each canals and is sealed in place with cement. Sometimes a metal or plastic rod is placed in the canal for structural support. In the final step, a crown is usually placed over the tooth to restore its natural shape and appearance. If the tooth is broken, a post may be required to build it up prior to placing a crown.
Is it painful?
Many people worry that a root canal will be painful. A root canal is as comfortable as getting a filling. An infected tooth (pre-root canal), is usually what causes tooth pain, and a root canal is the solution to this problem. In fact, infected tooth pulp can cause a tooth abscess and can destroy the bone surrounding the tooth.
- A treated and restored tooth can last a lifetime with proper care. Root canals have a high success rate and are significantly less expensive than the alternative, tooth extraction and replacement with a bridge or implant.
- But tooth decay can still occur in treated teeth, so good oral hygiene and regular dental exams are necessary to prevent further problems.