ENDODONTICS

Root Canal (Endodontis) Procedure

This is a common procedure that can save your teeth from getting extracted. NoFrills Dental team of expert dentists have more than 20 years of experience in executing root canal treatment procedures safely and proficiently.

In case you have any concerns and worries about your impending root canal procedure you should feel free to discuss them with your dentist.

 

Root Canal Treatment 

Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Decades ago, diseased or injured teeth were usually extracted. But today, a tooth can often be saved through root canal (endodontic) treatment.

Endodontics (en-do-DON-tics) is the branch of dentistry that deals with treating diseases or injuries to the dental pulp. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in root canal and other endodontic treatments. 

What happens if the dental pulp is injured?

The pulp is soft tissue inside the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves. When the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, treatment is needed. The most common causes of pulp inflammation or infection are a cracked or chipped tooth, a deep cavity or filling, or other serious injury to the tooth. All of these can allow bacteria to enter the pulp.

Diagram of a Healthy Tooth

Why should the pulp be removed?

If damaged or infected pulp is not removed, the tissues around the root of the tooth can become infected. Pain and swelling often result. Even if there is no pain, bacteria can damage the bone that holds the tooth in the jaw. Without treatment, the tooth may have to be removed.

Removing a tooth can create problems

When a tooth is removed and not replaced, the teeth around it may shift. This can make biting and chewing difficult and may make it harder to clean your teeth. Areas that are not cleaned well are more likely to get gum disease.

Root canal treatment can prevent these problems by saving your natural tooth. Also, root canal treatment is usually less expensive than a replacement tooth.

What does treatment involve?

You may have to visit your dentist more than once for root canal treatment. An endodontist or a general dentist, will do all that is necessary to save a patient’s tooth. Outlined below are the things you may expect your dentist to carry out during the root canal treatment procedure:

  • Area around the tooth is made numb to minimize pain to ensure you are comfortable during the procedure. Your dentist will place a thin latex rubber sheet over the tooth to be treated to remove wetness. Then the dentist makes a hole through the tooth’s crown leading to the pulp cavity. 
  • The dental pulp is extracted from its cavity as well as from the root canal (spacing in the root of the tooth). Your dentist cleans and shapes the root canals in preparation for filling.
  • Medication may be placed inside the pulp cavity and root canals in order to eliminate bacteria.
  • Usually, material like rubber is used to seal the root canals.
  • The tooth is temporarily filled to prevent your tooth’s root canals from being infected. In case infection has gone further than the root ends then your dentist may prescribe antibiotics. You should use the medicine recommended only as prescribed by the dentist. Contact your dentist in case you experience any problems using the medication prescribed.
  • In the next treatment phase, your dentist will remove the previously placed temporary filling. Your tooth will be restored by a filling or crown which will make it stronger and enhance its appearance. In case it is an endodotists handling your root canal treatment then this step will be performed by your generalist dentist. 
    Tooth decay can cause an abscess (infection). The decay is removed and an opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber. The pulp is removed and the root canals are cleaned and shaped.
    The root canals and pulp chamber are filled. A metal or plastic rod or post may be placed in the root canal to help retain the core (filling) material, which supports the restoration (crown). The tooth is then restored with a crown or filling. 

    What materials are used for the crown?

     Various materials can be used to crown teeth. The material selected to crown your tooth depends on the tooth’s location, how much natural tooth has been left, what you prefer and finally what the dentist feels would be suitable for you based on your dental needs.

    How long will the restored tooth last?

    If the root canal procedure is carried out well, a restored tooth can remain in perfect condition for several years. Nonetheless just like normal teeth, the restored tooth can decay or break and the tissue near it can become infected with gum disease. You need to ensure you clean your teeth every day and visit your dentist regularly to ensure your mouth is healthy even if you have undergone the root canal procedure.    

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