Root Canal Treatment
Root canal is performed to treat a severely damaged or infected tooth. It involves removing the infected pulp from the interior of the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting the affected area, and then sealing it to prevent further infection.
Common Types of Root Canal Treatments
Conventional Root Canal Treatment
This is the standard treatment where the infected pulp is removed, and the canals get cleaned, shaped, and filled with gutta-percha.
In this procedure, the dentist removes the existing filling material, cleans the canals, and fills them again.
In an apicoectomy, the tip of the tooth’s root is surgically removed along with the infected tissue, and the remaining root is sealed to prevent further infection.
This root canal treatment is performed on primary (baby) teeth when the pulp becomes infected or injured. It is done to remove the infected portion of the pulp and leave the healthy part intact to allow the continued development of the tooth.
It involves disinfecting the tooth, introducing growth factors or stem cells into the canals, and promoting the regeneration of dental pulp and root development.
When does one need a root canal?
Factors that indicate the need of a root canal treatment are as follows.
Persistent toothache can be a sign of pulp inflammation or infection.
Sensitivity to both hot or cold foods and beverages that lingers even after the stimulus is removed may indicate pulp damage or infection.
Swelling, tenderness, or the presence of a small bump on the gums near the affected tooth can denote an infection within the pulp.
An abscess, which is a pus-filled pocket, may develop at the tooth’s root or along the gumline.
A crack in the tooth can expose the pulp to bacteria, leading to infection or inflammation.
How does a root canal treatment work?
Examination and X-rays
The dentist examines the tooth and takes X-rays to assess the damage and determine if a root canal is necessary.
Before starting the procedure, the dentist administers local anaesthesia to numb the place near the affected tooth.
Accessing Pulp Chamber
The dentist places a rubber dam surrounding the affected tooth to keep it clean and dry during the procedure.
Removing Infected Pulp
Using dental instruments called files, the dentist carefully removes the infected pulp.
Cleaning and Disinfection
This step is crucial to eliminate bacteria, debris, and any remaining infected tissue.
Filling the Canals
Subsequently, the canals get filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha.
Restoring the Tooth
Once the canals are filled, the access hole in the tooth’s crown is sealed with a temporary or permanent filling material.
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What are the advantages of a root canal treatment?
The procedure removes the infected pulp, the source of the pain, and alleviates discomfort.
Root canal treatment aims to save the natural tooth rather than extracting it.
Once the root canal treatment is completed, the tooth can get restored with a dental filling or a crown.