Fear of Dental Procedures is very common. One common procedure people fear is root canal treatment. Reasons for root canal anxiety may stem from myths about pain or not knowing what will happen during the procedure. If you need a root canal, don’t let your fear get in the way.
Root Canal Treatment Simplified
Root Canal Treatment is a Restorative Procedure to save the tooth from being removed and to prolong its life. Root Canal, is in fact a part of the tooth which contains the tooth’s nerves, and blood vessels, also called the Pulp. This treatment focuses on removing the inflamed/infected pulp of the tooth, cleaning the canals in the root of the tooth, and filling it with an inert material.
The procedure finally ends with placing a Dental crown/ cap to reinforce the remaining tooth structure.
Understanding the Tooth Anatomy
The Tooth Is made up of three hard layers . Enamel- is the outermost layer of the tooth. It is the hardest structure in the human body Dentin- is more yellowish in appearance bulk of tooth structure is made up of this layer. Pulp- it is the innermost layer of the tooth. This is called pulp as it carries the blood vessels that supply nourishment to the tooth structure. This pulp lies within a canal space.
When do you need a Root Canal Treatment?
Usually, cavities start in the enamel of the tooth, but over months to years, it spreads to the deeper layers of the tooth.
When tooth caries extend beyond the second layer of the tooth ( Dentin) into the pulp chamber, it becomes indispensable to get the root canal treatment done.
So the procedure basically removes this pulp from the canal space, cleans the canal space, and to maintain the strength of the tooth, a filling material is placed inside in place of the pulp. That is the only option left to save the tooth.
What are your symptoms that indicate a need for Root Canal Treatment?
- Severe Tooth Pain
- Lingering pain to hot/cold food that does not go away even after removing the stimulus
- Pimple over your gums
- Obvious swelling of the face
- Trauma due to a hit/ a blow to the face.
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- Loose teeth
- Unbearable Pain in the nighttime or laying down position
Can you do it with medication instead of the procedure?
Cavities cause irreversible damage to the tooth and the only way to save the teeth from extraction; in the early stages of Cavity formation is a filling and at later stages is a Root Canal Procedure.
However, medication provides temporary relief ONLY and is not a final treatment option to solve the issue and prevent a recurrence.
What happens during the procedure?
- The tooth and surrounding area will be anesthetized locally to ensure your comfort during the procedure.
- The infected tooth structure is removed with the help of a high-speed instrument.
- The affected portion of the tooth is cleaned thoroughly.
- Access is gained to the pulp
- Fine instruments are used to gently remove the pulp
- Canal Space is thoroughly cleaned with disinfectants and antibiotic pastes.
- Canals without Pus discharge are filled in the same sitting and the procedure is completed.
- Canals with pus discharge are given an antibiotic dressing and the root canal procedure is completed after three days or in the next sitting.
- A temporary filling is given over the tooth surface.
What is the recovery time?
Most patients see immediate relief from their symptoms and are fine completely after the procedure is done. Some experience mild discomfort for one or two days after the procedure.
Painkillers and antibiotics are prescribed to ensure a comfortable post-operative period.
How to prevent getting Root canal Treatment done?
- Recognizing cavities at an early stage and getting fillings or sealants done for the teeth.
- Keeping a check on the consumption of sugary food items.
- Practicing good tooth brushing technique.
- Getting Dental checkups done yearly or twice a year.