A badly decayed or infected tooth can put you through the most challenging times. The effects of pain cannot be ignored at all. Your tooth’s nerve can become inflamed, infected, and irritated due to severe decay, cracks in the tooth, large fillings, and trauma. Root canal therapy is also known as endodontic therapy. is a dental treatment that helps in removing infection inside or around the tooth. It is also a dental procedure that helps protect the tooth and its root canals from future infections.
What Is a Root Canal
Root canal treatments are dental procedures that help eliminate bacteria from your infected root canals. It helps prevent any future infections inside the tooth and your canals hence saving the natural tooth.
During root canal therapy, the nerve and the infected pulp tissue inside of the tooth are removed. The root canals are later washed and disinfected, then filled and sealed. Inadequate therapy might cause infection to the tooth, and an abscess may form. Some of the signs to indicate that it is time to go for a root canal include:
- When biting or chewing, your tooth may experience intense pains
- Swellings on your gum
- Intense sensitivity that lingers when you take cold or hot drinks
- Cracked teeth
- Dark gums or severe tooth decay
Why The Pulp Needs to Be Removed
When Pulp or nerve tissues get damaged, they make way for bacteria to multiply within the chambers. Eventually, without therapy involving root canal treatment, the bacteria might cause infections or an abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus that forms at the edge of your tooth’s root and occurs when the infection spreads to different parts of the tooth including the bone around it. Infections in the root canal also cause:
- Loss of bone at the tooth root
- Swelling that may affect the head, face, and neck
With root canal treatment, the pulp needs to be removed to save the tooth.
Root Canal Treatment
When faced with dental challenges that may need root canal therapy, you must seek treatment. Your dentist or an endodontist can help perform a root canal procedure. An endodontist is specialized in the diagnosis, causes, prevention, and treatment of injuries and diseases in the canals, nerve, or dental pulp. Your dentist may suggest an endodontist if your canals get complicated. These are the steps to be followed:
- An x-ray will be performed by your dentist to determine the shapes of the root canals before treatment. An x-ray helps to know if there are any infections around the bone as well. The tooth will be numbed using local anesthesia. The use of anesthesia will make you feel relaxed during therapy.
- A sheet of latex-free rubber is then added around your tooth to keep your mouth dry and free of saliva during root canal treatment.
- The pulp, decayed nerve tissue, and bacteria are later removed from your tooth. The area is later washed out with sodium hypochlorite, or water is sprayed to sweep away the debris using special tools.
- After cleaning, the tooth gets sealed. However, some dentists prefer sealing after a week. It might take a week due to the medication put inside your tooth if you had an infection. In this step, if the root canal is not yet complete, a temporary filling is put around your root canals so that food and saliva may not interfere with the appointments.
- During the next appointment, your tooth will be filled. A rubber compound also called gutta-percha, and a sealer paste is fixed into the root canal. Finally, the filling will be put in to fix the access hole that was made at first.
- Finally, the last step involves the restoration of your tooth after treatment. In this process, your dentist will discuss additional dental work that may be needed to prevent the tooth from fracturing.
Oral Hygiene After Root Canal
After the root canal procedure, it is essential to maintain good oral hygiene, including regular brushing of your teeth, flossing, and an antiseptic mouth wash to maintain your tooth’s health. Ensure regular visits to your dentist as this can help identify any dental problems throughout the healing process.