Recently updated on June 1st, 2019 at 09:04 pm
Root canal treatment (or sometimes referred to as endodontic treatment) is carried out by a dental professional when the pulp of the tooth is infected.
The pulp is where all the nerves, blood vessels, and living tissues of the tooth are housed.
A root canal specialist or endodontist performs a root canal procedure to save a badly infected tooth. Some general dentists are also trained to perform this common dental procedure.
Some of the common causes of tooth damage or infection include:
- cavities due to tooth decay
- cracked or broken tooth from impact or accidents
- gum disease
- repeated dental treatment to a tooth
When the pulp becomes inflamed, it is damaged irreversibly, often resulting in excruciating discomfort.
While the pain may wear off as the pulp starts to die off, it often returns when the infection begins to spread to the face, neck or head.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that you visit your dentist as soon as you experience toothache or severe gum sensitivity.
Benefits Of Root Canal Treatment
While there are several medical reasons to opt for a root canal treatment, there are just as many practical reasons why you should choose to save your original tooth.
Your original teeth will be just as durable as a replacement. Most teeth rescued by root canal treatment last for an entire lifetime.
Almost pain-free process
Thanks to modern dental techniques and anesthesia use, you are six times less likely to experience any pain during your root canal treatment, compared to those who have a tooth extraction.
A tooth extraction surgery tends to take a longer time compared to a root canal treatment.
That’s because tooth extraction requires follow-up appointments for new a denture, bridge or implant. On top of the increase in downtime, the overall cost may be higher too.
Crowns look and work great just like your natural teeth. With root canal treatment, you can improve your confidence and smile widely once again.
Who is not eligible for root canal procedure?
Table of Contents
- Who is not eligible for root canal procedure?
- How is root canal procedure done step-by-step?
- Are there any side effects of root canal procedure?
- Are there any post-treatment guidelines after a root canal procedure?
- How much does root canal treatment cost?
- Will root canal treatment be painful?
- Can root canal treatment be done twice?
- Is root canal treatment safe?
- Does root canal treatment include crown?
- Root Canal Treatment Without Crown
While most people are eligible for root canal treatment, you cannot take part in a root canal treatment if you:
- are diagnosed with high blood pressure/hypertension
- consume blood thinners for medical purposes (your endodontist may advise you to stop taking the blood thinners before treatment)
- are diabetic or suffer from autoimmune diseases
- suffer from fever and infections
- are diagnosed with osteoporosis
How is root canal procedure done step-by-step?
An endodontist typically performs the whole root canal procedure in one session, unless the infection is serious.
- First, local anesthesia is administered to the infected tooth area.
- Once the tooth area goes numb, the endodontist drills a hole in the tooth to reach the pulp.
- The endodontist cleans out the infected and dead pulp from the root canals using a set of special files.
- Once all the infected and dead tissue is removed, the canals are disinfected
- The canals are then shaped using fine instruments so they can be sealed with the root canal fillings.
- The endodontist will place a temporary cover material above the filling. This cover will stay there until a crown which looks like a healthy tooth is fitted over the treated tooth. Sometimes, a post is inserted into the canal to provide more support to the crown.
- Lastly, the crown is cemented permanently.
Check out the video below to understand the step by step process of Root Canal Treatment:
Are there any side effects of root canal procedure?
Not really. One of the most common side effects is a dull pain in the tooth area after the end of the procedure. This pain usually goes away in a week.
If any bacteria are present by the end of the treatment, the infection can return.
You are highly advised to return to your dentist if the pain stops after a few days, but comes back again.
The crown can also come loose, letting bacteria enter and infect the tooth again. If you find the crown dislodged, get it fixed immediately.
Are there any post-treatment guidelines after a root canal procedure?
Other than antibiotics, you will need to maintain a proper level of oral hygiene with regular brushing and teeth flossing.
You should also not eat or drink anything for the first couple of hours after your root canal treatment.
Avoid anything that can damage the new filling or crown for a few days, such as hard and crunchy foods.
Also Read: 7 Reasons Dental Sealants Are A Good Idea
How much does root canal treatment cost?
The fees depend on how complex the treatment is, and which tooth is affected.
Molars tend to be challenging to treat; so the fee is higher. The good news is most dental insurance policies do cover endodontic treatment.
Endodontic treatment of the natural tooth tends to be less costly than a tooth extraction.
This is because an extracted tooth needs a new implant or bridge so you can chew again and prevent adjacent teeth from moving.
Will root canal treatment be painful?
This is unlikely. Thanks to modern dental techniques and anesthetics, almost all patients report they are comfortable during the procedure.
After treatment, your tooth may feel more sensitive for a few days. This can be relieved using over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Can root canal treatment be done twice?
You shouldn’t do need to do any root canal treatment more than once. However, if the infection returns, seek professional help from your dentist.
Is root canal treatment safe?
Root canal treatment is a harmless procedure, as long as a qualified endodontist or dentist performs it.
Your endodontist or dentist should have the expertise to treat the infected tissue properly. With the advent of new tooth filling substances, root canal treatment is an ideal and safe option to save your natural tooth from extraction.
Does root canal treatment include crown?
After root canal treatment is done, the tooth is weakened even if the cavity is filled. When this happens, crowns are added permanently to strengthen and protect the tooth. The crown will also restore the natural look of your tooth.
Root Canal Treatment Without Crown
A root canal treatment may be done without a crown if it is performed on the incisor or canine tooth that is mostly still intact.
These teeth are not used for chewing, so they are less exposed to stress than molars.
Ultimately, it’s up to your dentist to help you decide the best option.
Article contributed by – York House Dentists in Chesham & Amersham, the practice maintains and improves smiles for nearly 30 years with a comforting combination of expertise, experience, and exceptional standards.