Root Canal Explained
This is a procedure carried out for the sake of repairing and saving badly-decayed teeth. During this treatment, the pulp and nerve are extracted, and cleaning is done in the inner parts of the teeth. Once it is completed, sealing is done. Without the root canal treatment, the surrounding tissues may get infected, leading to the formation of abscesses.
‘Root canal’ can also be used to refer to the cavity existing at your tooth’s center. The pulp is the tender region within this cavity. The nerve is located within the cavity. As soon as the tooth emerges through the gum, its nerve becomes useless. Its function is reduced to sensory. Whether or not the nerve is present, the tooth will continue to function.
Why Remove the Tooth Pulp?
Once a tooth’s pulp or nerve is damaged, there is a breakdown, and the bacteria in the pulp will replicate. Together with decayed debris, the bacteria are capable of causing infections or an abscess. The abscess at the roots’ ends and is a pocket of pus.it occurs when there is spread of the infection beyond the roots.
Besides an abscess, a root canal infection can cause:
- Swelling that can spread to the neck, head or face
- Loss of bone at the roots’ tip
- Drainage problems that can extend beyond the root.
Potential Causes of Pulp and Nerve Damage
A tooth’s pulp and the nerve can get inflamed, infected, or irritated due to the following:
- Deep decay
- Repeated dental treatment on the tooth
- Large fillings
- Cracking of the tooth
- Chipping of the tooth
- Face trauma
What to Expect During the Treatment?
You will be required to make more than one visit to the hospital. An endodontic or dentist will attend to you. An endodontic specializes in the diagnosis, causes, treatment, and prevention of diseases of the dental nerve or pulp. He is simply a more specialized dentist. The choice of your preferred dentist largely depends on the complexity of the procedure and how comfortable the dentist is with going ahead with the treatment. Once you make your choice, the following steps will be taken:
- An x-ray is taken. This helps your dentist inspect your root canals’ shape and look for any infection signs in the surrounding bone.
- Your specialist uses local anesthesia in numbing the region surrounding the tooth. This isn’t necessary because the nerve is already dead, but it will help the patient relax.
- A rubber sheet is placed around your tooth to keep off saliva and maintain dryness of the region.
- The dentist will drill a hole in the tooth (access hole). The pulp, together with decayed nerve tissues, related debris, and bacteria, are extracted from the damaged tooth. Root canal files are used for cleaning out. The files are placed in the drilled hole and used to scrape off debris on the root canal sides. To flush the debris away, sodium hypochlorite or water is used.
- Once thoroughly cleaned, the tooth is sealed. Some specialists may wait till a week elapses before they seal the tooth in case it has an infection.
Should you expect any Pain?
It is widely known that these procedures are painful. Most people have often compared the treatment of placing a filling.
During the first days, you will experience increased sensitivity of the tooth. This is due to inflammation of the natural tissue. Prior infection or pain just makes it even worse. The sensitivity can be dealt with by using some over-the-counter medications that your specialist will prescribe.
Until completion of the root canal treatment, avoid chewing on the affected tooth. This way, the recontamination of your tooth’s interior is avoided. Also, fragile teeth will be saved from breaking before full restoration. You are advised to continue brushing, flossing, and using antiseptic mouthwash on a regular basis.
What is the Success Rate?
The chances of the procedure being successful are very high- over 95%. What is more? Teeth fixed with this treatment last for eternity. The final step in the process involves the application of a filling or crown. This way, people won’t notice you underwent the procedure.
If you are looking for a dentist in Atlanta, GA, drop by Creative Dentistry of Atlanta and book an appointment.