Root canal treatment is also known as endodontic therapy. It is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry being practiced worldwide. The treatment involves the thorough examination of the tooth canals and the subsequent drilling, cleaning, shaping or enlarging of the root canal and finally the filling of the emptied root canal with a rubbery substance called as gutta-percha.
The endodontic therapy or root canal treatment is usually a longer form of procedure and therefore may require a number of visits to the dentistry office.
Understanding the anatomy of the root canal:
Root canal and their related pulp chambers consist of blood vessels, nerve tissues and other cellular compositions. The tooth can be damage because of –
- Deep tooth decay or dental cavity
- Infection caused by the invading bacteria
- Broken tooth due to severe shock
- Inflammations of the tooth
When the tooth is infected by the bacteria, it can result in the dead or infection of the tooth’s pulp and chamber. Even a deep dental cavity can cause infection of the root canals and pulps. If one ignores the infection or if the infection is left untreated, it can progress further and spread to the nearby tooth, oral cavities and in severe stage can damaged the bones at the tip of the root present in the jawbone. Once the infection has reached the bones, it can result in abscesses associated with excruciating pains, swellings, sores and formation of pus.
Pulp area is located in the mouth region. Therefore, it is extremely vulnerable to infections. If the infection is associated with abscess formation ( with pus), the patient will not only experience excruciating pain in the tooth and surrounding area, but there are chances of developing other major complications such as septicemia ( a condition where the bacteria is present in the blood due to severe infections).
Even though the procedure is common, you make sure that you do the root canal treatment done by some experienced dental professional as it involves a delicate procedure.
Anesthesia is used to make it a painless procedure:
A local anesthesia is injected into the tooth and the surrounding gum area to numb the tooth. Even the tongue is numbed. Some patients are given nitrous oxide gas to reduce the pain. This makes the treatment painless but some may experience moderate pains and sensations for a few days during the recovery process.
- After injecting an anesthesia into your tooth, the initial step is to drill into the tooth deep through the root canal. Once the drilling is done, the next step is to clean the root canal and the pulp chamber.
- Once the infected pulp is removed, the root canal is enlarged and
- Then the emptied space left by the extracted tooth pulp is filled with inert, rubbery material gutta-percha. It is shaped so that it fits exactly into the empty space. This is placed on top of the tooth with the help of cement.
- An x-ray is done to the treated tooth to make sure that the canal is free of air pockets. In case of air pockets in the canal, the dentist will remove the entire cement and refill the canal with the new cement.
Depending on the severity of the case the procedure may require 3 to 4 sessions. If there is abscess in the pulp, then it can complete within one session. Root canal infection must not be ignored. If the infection has penetrated the bones, then you will be left with no option but to remove your tooth.