Facts About Root Canal Treatment
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that removes damaged nerves and pulp of the teeth to repair and preserves the natural tooth. Without this root canal therapy, the surrounding teeth would become infected.
Ideally, the tooth’s nerves have a minimal function after the permanent teeth have come through. Their only function is sensory and the teeth can still function without them. However, when the pulp gets damaged, it can lead to bacterial infection in the pulp chamber or worse still, abscess formation.
If untreated, abscess, a pus-filled pocket, can spread to the jaw causing swelling on the neck, face, and head and bone loss. In severe cases, you may develop sepsis, a life-threatening infection.
Certain conditions can cause the pulp to get infected such as repeated dental procedures, tooth decay, large fillings, cracked or chipped teeth.
Facts of Root Canal
Before you visit a dentist near you, it is important to know what you are getting yourself into.
- It is a major dental procedure: A root canal therapy requires one or two dental procedures and it performed by an endodontist or dentist. The choice of who will perform the procedure largely depends on the severity of the root canal infection and the complexity of the procedure. The first step involves an examination of your teeth and gums. An x-ray can be done to determine if there is an infection in the surrounding teeth. The dentist may give you anesthesia, although it’s not necessary because the nerve tissues are dead. The tooth nerve and pulp will be removed and the teeth cleaned. To fill the inner part of the tooth, a sealer or rubber compound is placed in the root canal.
- Root canals are different from extractions: Although they address the same problem, root canals and tooth extractions are different procedures. A root canal is done to save your teeth from being extracted. A tooth extraction, on the other hand, is a procedure of removing a permanent tooth due to decay or damage. Once the tooth is removed, it doesn’t grow back, meaning you will need orthodontic treatments to replace them.
- It is somewhat painful: The pain comes after the root canal procedure is done. You will experience mild pain, discomfort, and soreness in the first few days that can be addressed with over-the-counter medications. The discomfort should clear up in a few days, however, if you experience swelling and irritation, you should see our root canal dentist immediately.
- Long-lasting, but not invincible: After the tooth is healed, the dentist will fix a crown to prevent further damage. The crowns can last for 15 years, but this does not mean they are free from cavities. The teeth can still get infected and decay. It is, therefore, important to maintain healthy dental practices to prevent cavities. Additionally, have regular dental checkups every six months to prevent any damage.
- Aftercare is essential: A root canal treatment can save your teeth, but it can also weaken it. You need to be extra protective of your teeth to prevent them from breaking. Avoid eating crunchy, hard, or sticky foods that can stick in your teeth or worse still cause the crown to loosen. Plus, reduce the amount of sugar intake to keep bacteria away.
- Has few complications: A root canal therapy can have complications such as persistent bacteria, inadequate fillings, broken instruments, improper seal, and multiple canals that can affect the success of the dental procedure. If these complications occur during your root canal treatment, then the dentist may do endodontic retreatment or oral surgery.
Can Root Canal Be Prevented?
Since the pulp inflammation is caused by tooth decay, dental fillings, or trauma, following proper oral hygiene can help prevent cavities. Plus, wearing a mouth guard during sports activities can help prevent trauma.
Take of Your Teeth
The success of the root canal procedure will depend on how the procedure was done and your oral hygiene.
If you need more information on root canal treatment, call our endodontist in Folsom, CA for an assessment and consultation.