Endodontics refers to treatment for the internal tooth. One of the most common practices in dental medicine is root canal therapy, a form of endodontics. This therapy is targeted at teeth roots that are severely damaged, in a bid to protect them and prevent tooth extraction. In brief, the damaged root cavity is cleaned, abscesses are drained out, and the teeth are sealed to prevent further damage. The procedure takes its name from the natural cavity of teeth.
What causes a root canal?
The tooth contains a hollow area or cavity, which is the root canal. This hollow region is enriched with blood vessels and nerves that provide nutrition and facilitate signalling, respectively, of the tooth. This hollow, highly vascular region is called the pulp. Any damage to the pulp usually causes inflammation and pus formation. In addition, it affects the sensitivity of the teeth to hot and cold items. In several cases, discoloration may be observed.
Injury, poor dental hygiene, chipped or cracked teeth are among the several causes of tooth decay. The pus and swelling lead to severe, unbearable pain. Furthermore, damage to the pulp is an open invitation to the growth and propagation of bacteria in the affected region. This further aggravates the decay and may even reach the roots.
How does root canal therapy work?
The first step is an X-ray to determine whether you actually need a root canal. The X-ray provides a better understanding of the health of the tooth and its neighbouring tissues. In case your dentist recommends a root canal, the first step is anesthetization to numb the area.
Second, to keep the area dry and free of saliva, a small rubber sheet is placed around the teeth. This protective sheet is called the dental dam.
Next, a tiny hole is drilled through the crown of your teeth. Through this hole, surgical dental instruments called files penetrate and clean the cavity of pus and other debris. The entire area is cleaned and flushed using suitable solvents.
Once cleaned, the endodontist fills the area with a suitable biocompatible material. In most cases, the initial filling is temporary and may be substituted with permanent filling based on your need and the recommendation of the endodontist.
How successful is a root canal?
The success rates of root canal therapy lie between 95% and 98% based on the health of your teeth. Most teeth fixed using root canal therapy need not require further treatment and may well last a lifetime.
How long is the procedure?
Root canal can vary anywhere between two or more sittings based on your teeth health and the recommendation of the dentist.
How quick is the recovery?
Although you cannot instantly chew or bite using the newly reconstructed teeth, the recovery doesn’t take longer than two to three days. Healing is essential, and adequate healing usually yields better results. However, the teeth must be dealt with extra caution because they are prone to fracture. Hence, avoid the intake of solid food or food that requires you to chew constantly, such as chewing gum, nuts, and salads. Flossing and brushing your teeth twice a day is always recommended.
Is tooth extraction better than root canal?
Like the proverbial saying, a stitch in time saves nine, proper care may help you retain your teeth and avoid the need for extraction. Root canal ensures that the damaged tooth is fixed and preserved teeth. Extraction, on the other hand, leads to removal of teeth. Furthermore, tooth extraction is more painful, more expensive, and may warrant several visits to the dentist as compared to a root canal.
Can all teeth be fixed using root canal?
Most teeth can be fixed using root canal treatment, provided the canal is accessible, the root is not severely damaged, the tooth canal can be restored, and there is no visible fracture to the affected root. If any of the previous conditions are not met, then root canal may possibly not be performed in the affected tooth.
Why should I get my treatment done at Sterling Dental Clinic?
As we firmly advocate holistic dentistry, we wholeheartedly believe that it is far better to save and treat a tooth where possible than to remove it. Thanks to endodontic treatments, extracting a tooth is no longer your only option.
The dental team at Sterling are highly trained and skilled professionals who can provide everything, right from a simple consultation to an effective surgery. Under the expert supervision of a brilliant team, your teeth will be protected and nurtured for a lifetime. At our clinic, we are committed to continued learning so we can offer patients the latest dental techniques, procedures, equipment and products.