Emergency Root Canal
Root canal is a treatment used to repair or save a decaying tooth or one that has become badly infected. During this procedure, the nerve and pulp is removed making it possible to clean and seal the inside of tooth. Failure to treat the tooth can result in infections and abscesses may form.
Some benefits of using the root canal treatment to save the natural tooth are:
- It allows efficient chewing
- Restores normal biting force and feeling
- Gives the tooth a natural appearance
- Protects other teeth from excessive wear or stress
The term “Root canal” is used to describe the natural cavity located in the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal.
A tooth’s nerve is not essentially important to the tooth’s health and purpose after the tooth has developed through the gums. Its function is simply for sensory, provide the feeling of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the essential functions of the tooth.
Why do I have to remove my tooth pulp?
When the tooth’s tissues or pulp is damaged and untaken care of, it stops functioning and this causes bacteria to continuously multiply within the pulp chamber.
Leaving bacteria and other decayed debris causes infection or abscessed tooth which is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of the roots of the tooth. An abscess occurs when the infection spreads past the ends of the roots of the tooth. Infections in the root canal may also cause other infections like swelling and bone loss.
So, what damages the pulp?
A tooth’s nerve and pulp may be infected, irritated or inflamed as a result of deep decay, repeated procedures on the tooth or large fillings or trauma to the face.
How do I know when a root canal or endodontic treatment is needed?
A root canal treatment is done to the inside of the tooth when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. Your dentist may recommend this treatment if the cause of your teeth pain is serious decay or infection in the tooth pulp.
What happens during a root canal treatment?
A root canal treatment requires one or more visits before treatments commences by a dentist or endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who researches the causes, prevention, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the human dental pulp or the nerve of the tooth. The choice of which type of dentist to use depends on the difficulty of the root canal procedure needed in your tooth and the general dentist’s comfort level in working on your tooth. Your dentist will suggest who might be best suited to perform the work in your particular case.
The first step taken on during the treatment process is to take an X-Ray know the shape of the root canals and determine if there are any signs of infection in the surrounding bone. Your dentist then uses a local anesthesia to numb the area near the tooth. However, Anesthesia may not be needed, since the nerve is already dead, but most dentists use this to make patients more relaxed and at ease.
To keep the area dry, the next step is to place a sheet of rubber around the tooth. After which, an access hole will be drilled into the tooth. The pulp along with bacteria, the decayed nerve tissue and related debris is removed from the tooth.
The next step is the cleaning out process which is accomplished by using root canal files. A series of these files of varying diameter are each subsequently placed into the access hole and worked down the full length of the tooth to scrape and scrub the sides of the root canals. Water or sodium hypochlorite is applied periodically to flush away the debris.
Once the tooth is fully cleaned, it gets sealed. Most dentists prefer to wait a week before sealing the tooth. This enables them to determine if there is any infection after the treatment. If this happens, a medication is put inside the tooth to get rid of the infection.
ON your next appointment, the interior of the tooth should be filled. To achieve this, a sealer paste and a rubber compound known as “gutta percha” is placed into the tooth’s root canal. To fill the exterior access hole created at the beginning of treatment, a filling is placed.
On the final step, your dentist may decide to go for further restoration of the tooth. Because a tooth may need a root canal often if it has a large filling or extensive decay or other weakness, a crown, crown and post, or other restoration often needs to be placed on the tooth to protect it, prevent it from breaking, and restore it to full function. If there is need for additional dental works, your dentist would let you know.
After the treatment, there may be some natural tissue inflammation resulting in the tooth feeling very sensitive. However, these pains or sensitivity can be overcome by using pain medications like ibuprofen or naproxen. Most patients however, are able to return to their daily activities the following day.
How does the Root Canal treatment save the tooth?
During root canal treatment, the inflamed or irritated pulp is removed allowing the inside of the tooth to be carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed with a piece of rubber material called gutta-percha. Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling to provide protection. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like every other tooth.
Root canal treatment helps you maintain your natural smile, continue eating the foods you love and limits the need for ongoing dental work. With proper care, most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime.
Root canal treatment is known to be painful, some patient claim its more painful than going through a filling procedure. However, root canal treatment is very essential to maintaining the natural tooth and avoiding further decay in the tooth’s tissue or pulp which may result in infections.