Root canal treatment, also called endodontics, is a set of procedures designed to treat problems with the soft pulp tissue, which contains nerves and blood vessels within the tooth. Although some mistakenly think it is a painful treatment, in most cases the procedure is no more uncomfortable than a filling. It is actually one of the most effective ways to relieve some toothaches.
Root canal treatment is necessary when an infection or inflammation occurs in the pulp tissue of the tooth. Pulp tissue consists of blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerve cells; This explains why a problem here can cause such severe pain. In due time, the pain may go away, at least temporarily. However, without treatment the infection will not. It can lead to tooth abscess and can even cause systemic problems in other parts of the body.
Duct Treatment is your Ally
We’ve all heard the phrase, “I’d rather have a tooth pulled than have a root canal.” This may sound funny, but putting off a necessary root canal treatment is not. The idea that a root canal always has complications and pain is an old-fashioned myth. It is true that infection and inflammation of the pulp of the tooth can be very painful. But you must remember that root canal treatment eliminates severe pain and is not the cause of that pain.
Need another reason to stop putting off root canal treatment? What do you think about this? A natural tooth that is saved through a root canal and restoration helps to avoid the problems that usually occur when teeth need to be extracted. These problems can be: unwanted tooth migration or displacement, which can lead to chewing problems; need to place a bridge or dental implant, which can be more expensive and complicated; and even eventual loss of bone structure in the area of the missing tooth.
Signs and Symptoms of Root Canal Problems
How do you know you need a root canal? Sometimes it is so painful that it is obvious. If you experience constant severe pressure and pain in your mouth, noticeable swelling and extreme tenderness in your gums, then you clearly need immediate evaluation and treatment. Another symptom that indicates pulp tissue damage is sharp pain when biting into food. Persistent pain after consuming hot or cold foods is an indicator of a possible problem. If you feel any of these symptoms, you need to get checked out as soon as possible.
Causes of Root Canal Problems
Root canal problems stem from infection and inflammation of the pulp tissue of the tooth. One possible cause of infection is deep tooth decay. Untreated cavities allow bacteria to make their way to the center of the tooth, where they can infect the pulp tissue. Chipped or chipped teeth are another route of entry by which bacteria can come into contact with the pulp. Any opening in the protective layer of enamel can allow bacteria to reach the pulp of the tooth.
Dental trauma (those that occur during sports or a car accident, for example) are one of the main causes of pulp tissue damage. In this case, it is essential to consult the dentist immediately, to try to save the tooth and avoid future problems.
In some cases, extensive dental work itself can compromise the pulp tissue to the point that you will need root canal treatment. Multiple fillings or restorations on the same tooth increase the chances of this type of injury. Sometimes common procedures such as crown preparation or orthodontics can lead to root canal problems.
Stages of Root Canal Treatment
If an exam shows you need a root canal, don’t worry. It is one of the most common and effective procedures in the dental arsenal and can be done in one visit.
The root canal treatment process usually begins in the same way as a filling and without major discomfort: local anesthesia is given to numb the tooth and the area around it. For many patients, the worst is over.
Then, a small opening is made in the surface of the affected tooth in order to reach the pulp cavity and root canals. Tiny instruments, sometimes with the aid of a microscope, are used to remove dead or dying pulp tissue from the narrow internal canals. The cavity and empty channels are cleaned, disinfected and prepared to receive the filling made of inert and biocompatible material. Finally, adhesive cement is used to seal the opening of the tooth, thus preventing future infections.
After root canal treatment, your tooth may be slightly tender or sore for a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen are effective in relieving discomfort, but prescription medications can be given if necessary. During this period, it is probably best to avoid biting hard on the affected tooth. However, all these symptoms should be temporary.
In order for the tooth to be more protected and to fully recover, a crown or other type of restoration is generally needed. The restoration can be done in several ways: with traditional gold crowns or with dental replicas made of high-tech tooth-colored material. In all cases, you will have made an investment in maintaining your dental health in the future.