Endodontic Treatment: What You can Expect from Root Canal Therapy
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Endodontic Treatment: What You can Expect from Root Canal Therapy

Expectation from Root Canal or Endodontic Treatment
14 Dec 2019

Root canal therapy, also known as endodontic therapy, is a dental procedure that helps to get rid of the infection from inside the tooth. It is usually performed at the pulp of the tooth, which is known as the root canal. It can also help to protect your tooth from further infections.

What are some important facts about root canal treatment?

  • It can be used to remove nerves from the tooth pulp.

It is extremely painful though it is a pain-relieving therapy.

  • The procedure is often known as endodontic therapy.
  • The cost may vary but it is less costly than getting a tooth removed and replaced by means of a dental bridge or crown.

What is a root canal therapy?

A "root canal" is the hollow part of a tooth that has the blood vessels, nerve tissue and other cells called the pulp. A tooth has a crown and roots where the crown remains above the gum while the roots are below it. The roots attach the tooth to the jawbone.

There is the pulp inside the root and the canal or the root canal. After this, the pulp nourishes your tooth and offers moisture to its surrounding material. The nerves in your pulp will sense hot and cold temperatures in the form of pain. The root canal or endodontic therapy means "inside the tooth" however, the term has been commonly used to discuss the entire procedure.

What are the steps involved to perform root canal treatment?

  • Clean the root canal – The endodontist will remove everything inside the root canal. After this, he prepares an access hole on the tooth surface and removes dead pulp tissue with small files when you are under anesthesia.
     
  • Fill the root canal – Then the dentist cleanses, shapes and disinfects the hollow area by means of small files and irrigation solutions. The tooth is then filled by a rubber-like material that uses adhesive cement for sealing the canals completely. After the root canal therapy, the tooth is dead and you will not feel any pain in that tooth. The nerve tissue gets removed and the infection has been reduced.
     
  • Add a filling or crown – The tooth will become more delicate than it had been in the past. A tooth without pulp must get the nourishment from the ligament that attaches the tooth to its bone. The supply is adequate, but the tooth will become more brittle and so, a filling or crown provides more protection.

Till the crown or filling is complete, you should not bite or chew on the tooth. Once a crown or filling is done, the tooth can be used like before. The treatment often requires one appointment only but if there are curved canals, large infections or multi-canals, then this may require more than one appointment.

How painful is the treatment?

One of the greatest fears about this procedure is that it is painful but the treatment performed by an endodontist in London should involve minimal pain. The pain occurs from the infection and the treatment does not cause pain but helps in reducing it.

The dental surgeon tries to reduce the pain by numbing your tooth and surrounding area with local anesthesia. Once the treatment is done, there will be some kind of tenderness which is temporary and over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication may be needed to ease it. If needed, your endodontist may suggest some prescription drugs such as codeine to treat and prevent infection.

Who should undergo a root canal therapy?

If the pulp becomes diseased or injured, then the tissue dies and it cannot repair by itself. If there is a cracked tooth, loose filling or deep cavity, then the bacteria may enter the pulp which can destroy the pulp in due course. In case the bacteria enter through the root infections, then it may cause an infection in the bone.

When there is an infection, then this will make the bones weak and even break them down. The ligaments around the tooth will begin to swell and the tooth can become loose.

The pulp injury will make the tooth sensitive to high and low temperatures. You might feel some pain at the time of chewing. Some people may even experience constant pain. The infection will spread further without performing the treatment and your tooth can get loose and may even need to be extracted eventually.

Some people choose tooth extraction in case the tooth cannot be restored due to decay, trauma, or bone loss due to periodontal disease. However, getting a tooth extracted means the adjacent teeth begin to move and get crooked. This can look unsightly and make it difficult for a good bite.

Root canal therapy will usually save the tooth and eliminate the pain

If the tooth cannot be saved, then the next option is to perform an implant procedure. However, saving your natural tooth is always the best option as nothing can function the way like a natural tooth.

How much will the treatment cost?

The cost of the dental treatment differs extensively, but saving the tooth by means of a root canal is cost-efficient. The other option is tooth extraction and the cost of a bridge or an implant to replace the tooth afterward is usually more costly. Tooth extraction may also be the reason for your misaligned teeth, difficulty at the time of chewing and malocclusion.

What are the complications associated with the procedure?

  • Sometimes, the endodontist finds three root canals in a tooth only though there are four. If one canal is left untreated, then the infection may continue and spread further into the bone.
  • The endodontist should be sure that the filling material reaches far into the canal for filling it up. If the root canal has not been sealed properly, then the infection might return again.
  • During the treatment, the tooth root may crack or the instruments can perforate the canal or break in the canal which makes it difficult for filling the tooth properly.

If there are further complications, then a specialist may rectify the problem and then complete the root canal treatment in London. You should follow the instructions of your endodontist for avoiding further complications. If you need to take an antibiotic, make sure you complete the dose, as prescribed.  It is necessary to place a permanent restoration such as a crown after the root canal therapy gets completed.

How can you prevent further infections?

If you want to avoid the problem of gum disease, tooth decay and other infections, then the dentists suggest the following:

  • Brush your teeth before going to bed and after waking up in the morning.
  • Use Fluoride contained toothpaste to clean the teeth properly.
  • Select the right toothbrush and change it every two to three months.
  • Go for routine dental checkups and mouth cleanings.
  • Floss daily to clean in between the teeth and prevent the accumulation of plaque.
  • Avoid taking sugary foods and drinks and restrict to a well-balanced and healthy diet.

Thus, endodontic treatment and restoration of your natural tooth are less expensive when compared to other dental treatments for getting your tooth extracted. Endodontic therapy can also help to maintain your attractive smile, continue enjoying your favorite foods and restrict the need for visiting a clinic to perform dental works. By taking proper care and maintenance, most teeth that have had root canal procedure are meant to last for a lifetime.

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