Maybe you’ve heard about root canal treatment from a friend who underwent the procedure, or your dentist has mentioned it to you as the best solution to your ailing tooth. Root canals or endodontic treatment has been done to more than a million people.
Understanding Root Canal Treatment
For you to understand more about root canals, it is essential for you to know what exactly it entails. A root canal is a type of endodontic treatment that specializes with the inside parts of the tooth. The average human tooth has three layers, enamel, dentin and pulp chamber.
The pulp chamber starts from the crown of a tooth to the roots. The pulp chamber contains a network of veins and nerves that are crucial during the development stage of teeth. It is not necessarily important when the tooth has fully matured.
The pulp is what becomes infected, and what causes you a lot of pain when your tooth decays or you’ve been in an accident, and the tooth was injured. You might think the pulp is infected only when the tooth decays, but this is not the case. Repeated dental procedures and crack on the tooth can cause the pulp to become inflamed.
If you’ve ever had a decayed tooth, it took some time before you started feeling pain. This pain is caused by abscess formed at the roots of the tooth.
When To Visit A Dentist
How do you know it is time to seek medical intervention? Here are some of the major signs and symptoms you need to observe.
- Your teeth become very sensitive to cold or hot food and drinks.
- The tooth becomes soft and tender even with the slightest touch or chewing.
- The gum area where the affected tooth is becoming swollen and red.
- Lymph nodes become tender and drain.
Not everyone experiences these symptoms, and it can go unnoticed.
Know What Root Canal Treatment Entails
Thanks to advanced techniques in the dental field it is now easier to perform root canals without any pain. Most patients who receive a root canal, experience no pain or discomfort during the procedure.
It is normal to experience pain and discomfort after a root canal. This pain can be alleviated by over the counter painkillers.
The pain should not last more than a few days, and if this is the case, you should consult with your dentist.
The procedure can take place in one or in two phases depending on what your dentist suggests. The dentist will perform an x-ray on the affected tooth which will guide the procedure. The tooth is isolated by use of a ‘dental damp’ to keep the tooth clean and dry throughout the procedure.
A hole is drilled through the crown of the tooth to access the infected or inflamed pulp, and small instruments are used to clean and shape the pulp chamber for filling. The cleaned canal is then filled with gutta percha a material that looks and feels like rubber.
The gutta-percha is held in place by a temporary adhesive that will be removed afterward by the dentist. The crown is then replaced later by the dentist.
Cost Compared With Other Procedure
A root canal is cheaper than tooth extraction as tooth extraction will need a replacement tooth to keep the other teeth from shifting. The price of a root canal depends on the tooth that is affected, and molars are higher in price.
Proper oral hygiene should be observed to keep the tooth as healthy as possible. When the tooth that has undergone root canal wears, you will need to talk with your dentist about replacing the crown.
Trauma and tooth decay can make the tooth that has received a root canal to be weak and wear out rapidly. When this happens, it is vital to visit your dentist, and he/she will advise you accordingly.
How does your dentist know you need a root canal? A dentist has several ways of looking at your teeth.
The dentist will want to know if your teeth are sensitivity to hot or cold drinks. Experiencing sensitivity when you drink hot or cold drinks is normal if the sensitivity doesn’t last for one hour or more. When the pain lasts for more than one hour, it means you could have a pulp infection (lingering pulpitis).
It is crucial you have an experienced expert working on your tooth. Your dentist should explain and answer questions you have on the procedure and be happy to help you feel as comfortable as possible.