When does a Dental Pulp Get Damaged?
Many things can injure the pulp and necessitate a root canal treatment. Some of the common causes include:
Why is a Root Canal Treatment Important?
There was a time when the entire tooth had to be removed when the pulp got an infection. With modern root canal treatment, this doesn’t need to happen. We can treat the disease of the pulp without taking out the tooth.
The pulp lies in the centre of the tooth, and it can easily be damaged through direct trauma to the tooth. When this happens, the pulp and its contents begin to die. This also invites bacteria and causes infection.
When the infection is severe, a small pus-pocket or an abscess can form within the pulp. This causes a slight swelling in the jawbone. If left untreated, the abscess can cause pain and tenderness over the area of the swelling. The infection can also spread to adjacent oral structures, which can be challenging to control and could require the tooth to be removed.
That is why treating a pulp infection with root canal treatment as early as possible is so important. During the procedure, the diseased pulp is removed, and the remainder of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
Once treated, there is a low risk of recurrence of the disease if proper oral hygiene is maintained.
How Long Does the Treatment Take?
Most root canal treatments will require at least 2-3 visits to the dentist.
What Happens in Root Canal Therapy?
The procedure of nerve treatment is done in four steps:
1. First, a local anaesthetic is applied to the area that requires the root canal treatment. A dental dam is then placed around the target tooth to isolate it from the adjacent teeth.
2. The area is then drilled with a small drill to get access to the upper portion of the tooth. Using files, the damaged area is cleared with or without irrigation of the pulp. Sometimes the dentist might also use an antibacterial solution to ward off infection.
3. After the chamber and its pulp have dried, a rubber-like material known as the gutta-percha is used to fill the tooth. A temporary filling is used to seal the opening before permanent crowning can be done in the subsequent visits.
4. The healing process can take a couple of weeks after which a permanent crown is fixed to restore the look and function of your teeth.
Is Root Canal Therapy Painful?
We use a local anaesthetic, so the procedure is comfortable and painless. After the treatment, some patients may experience a mild amount of pain which can be managed through painkillers.
What Happens After Root Canal Therapy?
Placement of a permanent crown to restore tooth function is the ultimate result. However, crowning can be delayed by several weeks to allow for the tooth to heal. During this timeframe, it’s important to keep good care of your tooth, i.e. refrain from excessive chewing or biting.
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