What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is basically a endodontic (inside tooth) treatment which saves tooth from potential damage and preserve its structure from any infection or trauma and restore it to its function. its a very routine clinical procedure performed in dental clinics. Millions of teeth are saved by this procedure. as the name suggested its basically treat infection of root portion of tooth which contains nerve, blood vessel and connective tissue.
To understand root canal treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development.
The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. Pulp plays important role during growth and development of tooth. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished by surrounding tissues.
So in fully grown and mature tooth, role of the pulp is just to sense any stimulus as pain which is quite unnecessary in its functional role. So here lies the principal behind root canal treatment which save tooth by removing infected or damaged pulp’or treating any infection and sealing canal with biocompatible material so that it can be used by patient for lifetime.
Why would I need a root canal treatment?
Inflamed and infected pulp definitely require root canal treatment if you want to save tooth. there are many other conditions also where dentist may suggest you for root canal treatment. here are some condition where you may require root canal treatment:
1. Severe toothache which is during chewing or during contact with any extreme hot and extreme cold temperature food or drink which is usually tolerated by mouth.
2. a crack or chip in the tooth.
3. an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks.
4. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
5. To align a mal positioned tooth in your mouth.
6. Many of discolored teeth also need root canal treatment
7. Swelling or darning sinus in gums around tooth.
8. For restoring a grossly damaged tooth to its function.
Is it a painful procedure?
Root canal treatment is usually done in local anesthesia where a portion of jaw is numbed to make it a painless procedure. With modern techniques and anesthetics, most of our patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure. For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow post operative instructions carefully.
STEPS INVOLVED IN ROOT CANAL TREATMENT:
After clinical examination of concerned tooth we confirm pathology on radio-graph to make firm diagnosis for performing root canal treatment. Normally it can be performed in one to three visits.
STEP-1 tooth is anesthetized and a opening is made to reach in root canals
STEP-2 infection is removed by cleaning and shaping canal with latest endodontic instruments and irrigating it with different medicament.
STEP-3 clean and sterilized canal is now filled with 100% bio-compatible gutta perch filling.if there is severe infection or pus drainage then sometimes we have to pack medicine and do temporary filling and wait for 4-5 days before doing a permanent filling.
STEP-4 core filling is then done to restore tooth structure decayed by infection.
STEP-5 crown is then reshaped to receive a cap. you must be thinking is it necessary to do a cap after root canal. yes ,its mandatory to cap root canal treated tooth. root canal treatment just protect tooth from infection but tooth still not have strength to bear chewing forces for lifetime. it may get fracture or crack while chewing. so to give your tooth necessary strength we do a cap or crown which has strength more than your natural teeth so that you can use it for lifetime.