A Complete Guide To A Root Canal Treatment
A root canal procedure will be carried out when the dentist knows that they have to act quickly in order to save a tooth. Normally, the issue will be infection and tooth decay and unless you are quick to make an appointment this can become serious very quickly.
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What is a root canal?
A root canal procedure will be carried out when the dentist knows that they have to act quickly in order to save a tooth. Normally, the issue will be the dental infection and tooth decay and unless you are quick to make an appointment this can become serious very quickly. The rotten pulp and decaying nerve will both have to be removed. If they are left as they are, there is every risk that you will end up with an abscess. It is important that all of the pulp is removed as this is where the worst of the dental infection could settle.
Once the root has been removed, there is no need to worry about the viability of the tooth. It will remain in place, although there will be less chance that it will be able to tell the difference between hot and cold. The tooth will still work perfectly well without the nerve, it just needs a build up and a dental crown to prevent fracture. If the tooth is removed instead of saving the tooth with the root canal therapy then there is the risk that there could be bone loss. Once there is bone loss there is low risk of getting it back and if a future dental implant in needed possible further surgery may be needed to augment the bone area.
Why do we need a dental root canal?
A root canal treatment is also known as an endodontic treatment and will be needed once the pulp has become infected or there is a dental infection around the tooth in the form of a dental abscess. The dental infection usually starts with a large cavity, just that it will need to be removed. There are a number of risks surrounding leaving the pulp in place. Damage can be caused to both the teeth and gums when the infection is left to spread. In some ways the biggest risk will be to the gums as they are harder to deal with.
If worst comes to the worst with the tooth it can be replaced by a bridge, dental implant, or possibly a removable appliance. The spread of an infection can be problematic in many ways. Not only is there the discomfort when a large dental infection occurs, but soon an offensive odor can occur leading to severe bad breath due to the bacteria.
Who is affected by dental root canals?
In reality anyone can be a sufferer of a large dental infection and is recommended for a root canal. The need for a dental root canal can be for a variety of reasons. One will be poor hygiene and lack of adequate teeth cleaning. Once this has become a habit it is easy for bacteria to take over the tooth and soon there will be infection in the form of a cavity and can lead to dental pain.
There are also times when an infection takes hold and there is nothing that the patient can do about it. Normally, this will be because there has been damage inflicted on a tooth and this has led to bacteria gaining access. It could be because there has been trauma to the tooth by way of a blow, quite often a sporting injury. Even the slightest crack in a tooth can be the gateway that allows the bacteria in.
How do you treat a broken tooth or a tooth with a large cavity?
The dentist will need a dental x-ray for the tooth and will use this as a guide to carrying out the needed work. They will need to protect the tooth from saliva as the last thing they want to do is to let bacteria in while they are carrying out a procedure with a protective rubber dam shield to keep you comfortable and the tooth safe. A small opening will be made to the top of the tooth and the pulp will be taken out, leaving a clean void where the filling can be placed.
The dental root canal filling will be put into the hole – the majority of dentists will use gutta-percha for this part as it will be substantial enough to stand up to the day to day use it will get. As it will be missed with dental cement, it will not take long for the filling to harden and become as one with the tooth.
This will not be the end of the issue, however, as the tooth cannot be left as it is. There will need to be a permanent cover put on it and this will usually be a dental crown. There will have to be a gap left between procedures to allow the tooth to settle down but once that has been done, the tooth should be as strong as it was before treatment. It will be possible to eat in exactly the same way as you did before the treatment began.
What are the symptoms of a tooth that may need a root canal?
As with many cases of infection with the tooth there is likely to be an element of pain the longer the infection is there. It will take time to build up and this is part of the problem. As it takes so long for the infection to become an issue, it will have taken hold before you know about it.
One of the worst outcomes will be a dental abscess as this will require an additional treatment. There will be a lot of pain and you will become aware of this when you are eating. Any pressure at all put on the tooth will be painful and it will get to the stage where you try to use other parts of the mouth when you need to bite or chew. There will be sensitivity when it comes to eating and drinking hot and cold items and if this happens for a day or two, it is clear that there must be treatment carried out.
Swelling will also be a give-away that there is something not right with the tooth. This tends to appear due to the pus that will gather around the tooth especially at the base of it where it meets with the gums. The gums will be affected and a lot of the infection will be in the gums; so, they can be permanently damaged as a result of the decay. As previously mentioned, bacteria can have an awful smell and you will want this to be stopped as soon as possible before larger problems can occur such as loss of ability to swallow, close one’s mouth, or eat properly.