What is a root canal
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What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal procedure is performed when the dentist knows that they have to act quickly in order to save a tooth. A tooth needs a root canal when there is an infection around the root caused by trauma or tooth decay and can range from very little to no pain, or severe pain. Regardless, a root canal needs to be performed immediately to achieve highly recommended prognosis for the tooth. The rotten pulp and decaying nerve will both have to be removed. If they are left as they are, there is every risk that you will end up with an abscess. It is important that all of the pulp is removed because this is where the bacteria is located that has caused the infection.
Once the root has been removed, there is no need to worry about the viability of the tooth. It will remain in place, although there will be less chance that it will be able to tell the difference between hot and cold. The tooth will still work perfectly well without the nerve, but it will need a build up and a dental crown to prevent fracture.
Why Do We Need a Dental Root Canal?
A root canal treatment is also known as endodontic treatment and will be needed once the pulp has become infected or there is a dental infection around the tooth in the form of a dental abscess. The dental infection usually starts with a large cavity or decay. There are a number of risks surrounding leaving the pulp in place. Damage can be caused to both the teeth and gums when the infection is left to spread. In some ways, the biggest risk will be to the gums as they are harder to deal with.
If the tooth is unsalvageable and needs to be extracted, there are alternative options to replace the tooth such as placing a dental bridge, implants, or a removable appliance. The spread of infection can be problematic in many ways. Not only is there the discomfort when a large dental infection occurs, but soon an offensive odor can occur leading to severe bad breath due to the bacteria.
Who Is Affected by Dental Root Canals?
Any large dental decay or cavity not addressed can lead to a tooth needing root canal. The need for a root canal can be for a variety of reasons. Poor hygiene and lack of adequate teeth cleaning are two of the main reasons. Once this has become a habit, it is easy for bacteria to take over the tooth and soon there will be infection in the form of a cavity and can lead to dental pain.
There are also times when an infection takes hold and there is nothing that the patient can do about it. This is because there has been damage inflicted on a tooth caused by a cavity, enabling bacteria to gain access. It could be because there has been trauma to the tooth by way of a blow, quite often a sporting injury. Even the slightest crack in a tooth can be the gateway that allows the bacteria in.
How Do You Treat a Broken Tooth or a Tooth With a Large Cavity?
The dentist will need a dental x-ray of the tooth and will use this to come up with an accurate diagnosis and treatment. A protective rubber dam is used during the procedure to protect the tooth from saliva to prevent bacteria from invading while they are carrying out the procedure. A small opening will be made to of the tooth and the pulp will be taken out, leaving a clean void where the filling can be placed.
The root canal filling called gutta-percha will be placed into the holes where the nerves used to be. Placed along with a sealer to seal any voids, this gutta-percha filling will harden and become as one with the tooth.
This will not be the end of the issue, however, as the tooth cannot be left as it is. A crown is necessary as the final restoration to protect the tooth from fracture. There may be a transitional period between procedures to allow the tooth to heal. After the permanent crown is cemented, the tooth will return to its normal function and feeling. Some teeth may recover quickly, and some may take several months to heal.
What Are the Symptoms of a Tooth That May Need a Root Canal?
An infected tooth can cause pain, and the pain can worsen the longer the infection is not addressed. Infected teeth may take a while to show signs or symptoms, which is the issue because treatment may not be rendered until it’s too late.
One of the worst outcomes will be the formation of a dental abscess around the root of the tooth. Pain is the major symptom, especially upon eating or chewing. Any pressure at all put on the tooth will be painful and it will get to the stage where you try to use other parts of the mouth when you need to bite or chew. There will be sensitivity when it comes to eating and drinking hot and cold items.
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How to Prevent Needing a Root Canal Treatment?
Root Canal Treatment is usually only performed when there’s absolutely no way to save your teeth and if any delays will only risk your other healthy teeth as well. It’s a last resort treatment and most people don’t prefer it. However, the need for root canal treatment doesn’t just pop up out of nowhere. There are usually plenty of warning signs that you can catch well in time. The following are some tips to help avoid root canal treatment altogether.
- Thoroughly and regularly brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush. If you have sensitive teeth, you can use fluoride toothpaste. You can also rinse your mouth after meals.
- Follow the brushing with a floss session. Go all the way back and floss your back teeth as well.
- Candies and sweets can increase your likelihood of developing cavities because they attract bacteria. That’s why you should avoid frequent snacks and sweets.
- No matter how well you follow oral hygiene practices, it’s necessary to visit a dentist for a regular dental cleaning appointment. During a dental cleaning, the dental hygienist will scrape all of the accumulated plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums so that they can’t turn into serious issues down the line. Furthermore, if you do have some cavities, they’ll be able to catch them in time before the bacterial infection spreads.
- If you are told that you’re suffering from some gum infections or have cavities, you should get them treated immediately. If you put off treating these issues, the problem will progress and you’ll soon need root canal treatment.