Your teeth are susceptible to a wide range of health risks such as gum disease, injuries, and cavities, among others. Over the decades, modern medicine has evolved to come up with a variety of treatments for these different oral health issues.
One of the most common types of protective and restorative dental treatments is root canal treatment. Most people shiver when they hear the term ‘root canal’ but you should know that it is a simple, effective, and completely safe treatment for dealing with a variety of dental health issues. Keep reading our blog below as we offer your ultimate guide to root canal treatments.
What Is A Root Canal?
Your tooth has 2 parts: the root and the crown. The visible part of the tooth is known as the crown which lies above your gums. On the other hand, the part of your tooth that is below the crown and within your gum is the root. Root canal treatment is the process of treating this part of the tooth.
The root canal part of the tooth consists of nerves, tissues, and blood vessels that are collectively known as pulp. This pulp inside the tooth keeps the surrounding material moisturised and also provides nutrition to the tooth. Nerves in the pulp also play a role in relaying extreme temperatures as pain signals to the brain. In most cases, root canal treatment involves removing and replacing the pulp inside the tooth.
Signs You Might Need a Root Canal
While a root canal is not needed for every tooth issue, here is a list of a few signs that indicate when a dentist is likely to prescribe a root canal treatment:
- If you experience extreme pain when you apply pressure to a tooth or while eating.
- If your teeth become too sensitive to hot or cold and you keep feeling the sensation even after the removal of the responsible substance.
- If an area inside your mouth is radiating pain and there is a bump near the gums in that area.
- Your tooth darkens.
- There is extreme swelling in the gums.
What Happens During A Root Canal Treatment?
The endodontist will begin a root canal treatment by numbing your tooth with the help of local anaesthesia. The dentist will then proceed to create an opening in the crown of the affected tooth after placing a thin latex rubber sheet over it.
Through this opening, the infected part of the tooth is removed from the root canal in the pulp chamber. Each canal of the tooth is properly cleaned and shaped up for filling. The endodontist may also put antibacterial medicine in the chamber and root canal to completely kill the bacteria.
The root canal is then filled with a rubber-like material for proper seating. The endodontist will place a temporary filling to avoid contamination and antibiotics may also be prescribed.
Once this process has been completed and the infection is completely gone, the tooth is restored with a filling or a crown to ensure proper appearance. In some cases, you might need to visit your dentist more than once for a root canal treatment.
How Long Do Root Canals Last?
Root canals are extremely successful. It is estimated that more than 95% of root canal treatments succeed and typically last a lifetime. There are certain things your dentist will recommend to ensure a long-lasting root canal.
Even if you had a root canal treatment, that tooth may develop a cavity or suffer further decay. Since this treatment involves the complete removal of nerves from that tooth, you may not even feel pain in case of a cavity. This is why you should ensure regular dental check-ups and cleanings.
Needless to say, you should maintain good dental hygiene and make it a habit to brush and floss your teeth twice a day. Make sure you clean your teeth after meals and before going to bed.
What To Do After A Root Canal Treatment?
There are certain things you should do and stay away from after a root canal treatment. Make sure you do not chew hard with a tooth that has been treated before the placement of a permanent crown. Stay away from chewing anything until the local anaesthesia has worn off completely.
Your orthodontist will prescribe pain medicines. Make sure to take all the medicines as prescribed by your doctor. If the swelling or pain continues even after root canal treatment, you should immediately consult your endodontist.
There is a lot of misinformation online regarding root canal treatment procedures. It is a common procedure and has a very high success rate. You will not feel any pain during the procedure as the treatment is performed under local anaesthesia. Without a root canal treatment, the infected blood vessels and nerves will become much more infected and the infection might spread to other teeth besides the infected tooth. This is why you should immediately get a check-up done if you experience any signs discussed above.
North Adelaide Smiles: Your Partner in Dental Health
North Adelaide Smiles Clinic is the premier dental clinic in North Adelaide.
If you are looking for a trustworthy and reliable dentist in North Adelaide, then please contact us at North Adelaide Smiles on 08 8244 3144 to make an appointment or leave an enquiry.