Root Canal Treatment: A Complete Guide to Everything
Sometimes, it so happens that the bacteria successfully penetrate the teeth and attack the pulp of the teeth, and causes in infection. When this happens, you are going to need to get root canal therapy to save your tooth. During this procedure, the dental expert removes the infected pulp and seals the tooth to prevent reinfection in the future.
What is a root canal?
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that is used to provide relief from the pain caused by an abscessed or infected tooth. During the process of a root canal. The inflamed or decaying pulp is removed from the teeth. Then, the surface inside the tooth is cleaned and disinfected, and then filled and sealed to prevent further infection.
When is a root canal needed?
Root canal therapy becomes necessary then the oral bacteria penetrate the tooth and attacks the pulp. Situations like this usually occur if a cavity is left untreated and not paid heed to for a long time. This might also happen if a tooth cracks or gets damaged because of trauma.
What are some symptoms that indicate you may need root canal treatment?
It is possible that you might not even know that you have an infected tooth. However, people sometimes notice certain specific symptoms. Given below is a list of indicators that you are going to need a root canal:
Toothache that doesn’t go away:
Multiple kinds of dental problems can give rise to tooth pain. If you experience sharp pain in your tooth, chances are you might need root canal therapy. Discomforting pain might also spread to your other teeth, jaw, or face.
Sensitivity to heat and cold:
If you feel a sharp pain in your tooth or your tooth hurts when you drink something hot or eat something cold, it could possibly indicate that you need root canal treatment. This is especially true if the sharp pain persists for more than a few seconds or happens every time you consume hot or cold food.
When a tooth gets infected, puss can sometimes get collected in the area. This can lead to sensitivity. puffy, swollen, or tender gums.
Pimple on the gums:
You might notice the development of a pimple or boil on the gums. Puss from the infected tooth might sometimes drain from the pimple, leading to an unpleasant taste or smell.
Oftentimes the accumulated puss doesn’t drain from the site. As a consequence, your jaw might become visibly sensitive and swollen.
When the pulp of a tooth gets infected, it might lead your tooth to look darker than usual. This happens primarily because of poor or little blood supply to the infected tooth.
Pain when pressure is applied:
If you ever pain when you eat or touch your tooth, it might be an indication that the sensory nerves around the pulp are damaged.
A chipped or cracked tooth:
If you’ve ever cracked a tooth in a trauma or in an accident, might be while playing sports or even by biting down on something hard, bacteria can use this crack to reach all the way into the tooth pulp and infect it.
An infected tooth might feel looser in the root. This is because the pus from the infected pulp can soften the bone that supports the tooth.
How common is root canal therapy?
The American Association of Endodontists says that over 41000 root canals are performed in the United States on a daily basis. When added up, it logically means that more than 15 million root canals are taken care of every year.
How should I prepare for root canal treatment?
Before beginning your root canal therapy, you can clarify with your dental expert and doctors any questions that you might have about the procedure. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for your root canal therapy:
Take all medications as prescribed:
You might be prescribed antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications a few days before your appointment, especially if there is a whole lot of infection present.
Tobacco products are specifically known to interfere with your body’s ability to heal itself and immunity. Avoid smoking at least for several days before your root canal appointment — and maybe avoid it completely if you’re able to.
Eat a healthy meal:
Since the local anesthesia used during root canal therapy will make your mouth numb for a few hours, it’s a good idea to eat before your appointment.
How long does a root canal take?
based on the amount of infection that’s spread in your tooth, root canal therapy might need one or two appointments. root canal therapy approximately takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete. If you are getting the treatment on a larger tooth which is supposed to have multiple roots, it might also take up to an hour or more.
What happens during the root canal process?
Before getting started with the process of a root canal, your doctor and dental expert will take dental X-rays of the infected tooth. This helps the determination process of the extent of the disaster and makes sure that root canal therapy is the kind of treatment option. Here are the steps that will be maintained, possibly chronologically during your root canal procedure:
At the very beginning, local anesthesia is an injection to numb the infected tooth and the surrounding gums and area of the mouth. There are also medicines used in the domain of dental sciences to help you relax (muscle relaxants), such as nitrous oxide, oral sedatives, or intravenous (IV) sedation. Your doctor or dental health expert may recommend sedation if you happen to experience dental anxiety.
Dental dam placement.
Before getting started with root canal therapy, a small rubber dam is placed over the area that is going to be treated. This separates and isolates the tooth and keeps it dry during the procedure.
For the next step, a small incision or an opening is made in the crown of the tooth, for the dentist to be able to reach the pulp.
Tiny dental instruments are used to remove the nerves, blood vessels, and tissues inside the tooth.
Shaping the canals.
Once the pulp has been safely removed, the pulp chamber ( the place where the pulp previously existed) and root canals are cleaned, disinfected, and properly and correctly shaped.
Filling the canals.
Following that, the empty canals are then filled with a flexible, rubbery dental material called gutta-percha. This takes the space of the previously existing pulp, and adds to the structure and strength of the teeth.
Sealing the tooth.
After the temporary dental filling is placed to seal the tooth and prevent bacteria from re-entering and causing the teeth to get infected again.
Placing the final restoration.
In the majority of cases, it is seen that you’ll need a dental crown to protect the treated tooth and restore your bite. dental crowns are usually customized, and fabrication usually takes about two to three weeks’ time. When your crown is ready, the temporary filling is then removed and the permanent crown is placed over the infected tooth. In some instances, you might be able to get hold of your dental crown during the same appointment.
Do root canals hurt?
Many people are afraid they’ll have tooth pain after root canal therapy. However, because the source of infection is removed during the procedure, most people find immediate relief following treatment. If you are experiencing throbbing pain after a root canal, call your healthcare provider right away.
What should I expect after a root canal?
it is most likely for you to not experience any significant pain after a root canal procedure, you might notice some sensitivity for a few initial days. These symptoms are nothing abnormal and can be easily taken care of with prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers. In the majority of cases, the side effects lessen within a week or two, depending on the size of the tooth.
Who should perform my root canal procedure?
Root canal therapy is usually handled by a general dentist or an endodontist (a professional root canal specialist). General dentists are completely capable of treating the teeth near the front of the mouth since they comprise comparatively fewer roots. If you happen to require root canal therapy on a tooth with comparatively more number of roots — or if your case is complex — then the chances are that your case will be referred to an endodontist.
RISKS / BENEFITS
What are the advantages of having a root canal procedure?
There are multiple advantages of opting for root canal therapy. This treatment can:
It can prevent infection from spreading to other teeth.
It can also ease the symptoms associated with an infected tooth.
It is also known to reduce the risk of jawbone damage.
It will also eliminate the requirement for tooth extraction.
Are root canals safe?
Root canals are effective and safe. This procedure boasts amazing and impressive success rates of up to 98%. Sounds like a good option, doesn’t it?
What are common failed root canal symptoms?
Root canal complications are extremely rare; however, might occur in some cases. Situations like this might occur if your tooth is way too damaged for this type of treatment, or has passed the stage where the mischief could have been managed by root canal therapy. Failed root canal symptoms can include:
Puss or drainage.
Pimples, boil, or Inflammation on the gums.
What if my root canal fails?
In case your root canal fails, your dental expert or doctor will explore the other alternative options with you. In multiple cases, root canal retreatment might also be possible. Or, it may be time to discuss alternative procedures. Situations like this might occur if your tooth is way too damaged for this type of treatment, or has passed the stage where the mischief could have been managed by root canal therapy.
What are the alternatives to root canal treatment?
Unfortunately, the only alternative to root canal therapy sometimes is tooth removal. Even though, the dental experts try to save natural teeth whenever possible, and it’s for the best. Extraction might sometimes become necessary to preserve your overall oral health.
If you’re not an appropriate and suitable candidate for a root canal therapy, the tooth can then be uprooted and then replaced with a dental implant, dental bridge or partial. To find out more about root canal vs extraction, get in touch with your dental expert as soon as possible, especially if you think you need either of the two.
How long does root canal recovery take?
Typically, a root canal recovery process lasts about a week, less if not more. You might experience mild discomfort for a few days, but this can be easily managed and taken care of with medication. If you seem to experience sharp or severe pain or discomfort that lasts longer than a week, that is your cue to get in touch with your dental health expert or endodontist as soon as possible.
Can I eat after a root canal?
Yes. However, it is recommended to wait and rest your mouth until the numbness wears off. The effects of the anaesthesia usually do not last more than a few hours.
Stick with foods that are easy on your teeth. Comparatively softer food like pastas, mashed potatoes and yogurts for the first couple of days. Start consumption of solid food as your comfort level improves. Some dentists also recommend the consumption of ice creams and cold frozen desserts.
You should also try to steer clear of biting or chewing with the treated tooth. In simpler words don’t pressurize your treated tooth. Try to chew on the other side of your mouth, as much as possible until your permanent dental installation is in order.
Can you drive after a root canal?
It depends on the kind of anaesthesia you have been given. If you had been injected local anaesthesia or nitrous oxide during your procedure, then you can drive yourself to and from your dental appointment. People who choose to get a sedative orally or IV sedation will probably need a pal or someone from their family to drive them around.
Can you smoke after a root canal?
It isn’t advisable. As already mentioned, smoking interferes with healing and increases the chances that you’ll need more dental work in the future.
What are some root canal aftercare tips?
After you have got the root canal treatment, you are going to keep the area clean. Brush and floss normally, and use an antibacterial mouthwash to keep germs at bay. If you still are at the mercy of a temporary filling and are yet to receive your permanent crown, steer clear from chewing on the treated tooth until the crown has reached you.
How long do the results of a root canal last?
Considering all dental procedures, results are not exactly guaranteed. However, when root canal therapy is performed in proper order, results can last for a long time — even the rest of your life sometimes.
How to Care for a Root Canal Treated Tooth
If you have just gotten yourself a root canal, and now you need to care for your treated tooth. You must take special care immediately following the procedure. Your temporary filling needs to stay put until the permanent crown has been placed. Until then, you have to be extremely cautious with your tooth.
Caring for a root canal treated tooth right after the procedure
After getting your permanent crown or filling, patients can deal with a root canal-treated tooth like any random tooth. But you definitely need to brush and floss daily, only then you can eat your favourite foods. Until then patients are required to follow a specific set of guidelines. These guidelines are designed to protect the treated tooth and temporary crown or filling.
Brush and floss gently
It is necessary for you to keep the area clean after a root canal treatment is done. However, aggressive brushing puts way too much pressure on the treated area and can dislocate the temporary filling or crown. It is recommended that you use a soft-bristled brush, gently clean the tooth and then floss, again gently. try not to force the floss between the teeth. If it does not slide between the teeth as smoothly as it should, seek help from the dentist. The filling might be needing to be reshaped to let dental floss through the teeth.
Rinse the mouth
Cleanliness and hygiene are important after a root canal procedure. Besides brushing and flossing, patients are advised to use a saltwater rinse multiple times a day for the first three days after the therapy. Mix table salt with lukewarm water and rinse for several seconds. Again, do not go overboard with the rinsing, because that too might harm the tooth.
Eat soft foods
When patients have a temporary filling or crown, it is important to avoid hard, crunchy or chewy foods, which won’t be as easy on the mouth. These food items are capable of dislocating the temporary filling or crown, baring the nerves and making them susceptible to further damage. Comparatively softer food items are ideal for consumption immediately following a root canal. Food items such as soup bring to the body the much-needed nourishment without aggravating the conditions of the treated tooth. Food items should preferably be lukewarm to prevent causing sensitivity.
Avoid putting pressure on the tooth
Immediately after a root canal, it is necessary for you to avoid putting too much stress on the tooth. Patients of a root canal are advised to chew on the opposite side until the permanent crown or filling is received. Again, it is important for patients who grind their teeth to put on mouthguards. They should consistently use the mouthguards, even after the permanent crown or filling is placed. Mouthguards mitigate the effects of grinding, protecting your pearly whites and dental installations.
Listen to the dentist’s instructions
Dentists give their patients a list of care instructions after root canal procedures. Dentists often advise different oral hygiene habits based on the procedure and the installation. Someone who has tonnes of decaying parts removed with the tooth, for instance, might require to simply rinse in place of brushing for multiple following days. Patients are required to follow this set of instructions to prevent themselves from causing any further damage to the new dental installation and the other teeth.
Care for your teeth and restorations
After you have gotten yourself a root canal, you are required to brush and floss the tooth as gently as possible, immediately after the procedure. You will be advised to rinse your mouth with salt water, consume comparatively softer foods that will be easy on the teeth and not to put pressurise your mouth. Try listening to your dentist’s specific instructions, because chances are that they know the condition of your dental and oral health, and have customised the set of instructions specifically for you. after you have received your permanent crown or filling, you can conveniently go back to your normal oral hygiene and eating routine, but try not to go overboard.