Patients who require root canal treatment usually suffer from tooth pain that is caused by an infected tooth and/or severe pulp damaged that is usually caused by an untreated cavity. Root canal treatment is a procedure needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (known as the pulp) is infected through decay or injury. If the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread through the root canal system of the tooth. This may eventually lead to an abscess. If root canal treatment (RCT) is not carried out, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out.
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Root Canal Treatment at a Glance
PROCEDURE: Treat infection at the centre of the tooth (root canal system) which can be caused by decays, leaking fillings or cracked teeth LENGTH: 1 to 2 hours: first appointment
1 to 2 hours: second appointment (if need be)
ANESTHESIA: Local or local with sedation SIDE EFFECTS: Slight tenderness when biting right after treatment RISK: Reinfection of tooth, need for endodontic surgery RECOVERY: Tooth usually settles in 1 or 2 days RESULT LASTS: Could last a lifetime if patient maintains good dental hygiene
What is Root Canal Treatment?
The aim of the treatment is to remove all infection from the root canal. The root is then cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection. Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure. Most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits to dentist. At the first appointment, the infected pulp is removed. Any abscesses, which may be present, can also be drained at this time. The root canal is then cleaned and shaped ready for the filling. A temporary filling is put in and the tooth is left to settle. The tooth is checked at a later visit and when all the infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled.
If root canal treatment is not applied, tooth will be extracted out. Once the pulp is destroyed, it can’t heal and it is not recommended to leave an infected tooth in the mouth. Although some people would prefer an extraction, it is usually best to keep as many natural teeth as possible.
How it is Performed
Root canal treatment begins by dentist numbing the area around the tooth to be treated. A hole is then drilled to the pulp area through the top or back of the tooth, and the canal is measured with an x-ray or electronic imaging to determine how much filling material will be necessary. The diseased pulp is removed, and the empty canal is cleaned out and filled. Since local anaesthetic is used patient will not feel any pain during the procedure. After the procedure is completed, a temporary filling or cap is placed over the tooth. After a few weeks, if the tooth shows no signs of infection, the temporary filling is removed and the tooth is capped with a permanent crown.
After the root canal procedure the tooth becomes non-vital or dead as the pulp or nerve of the tooth is removed. This in turn causes the tooth to discolour making it unaesthetic and more brittle which means it is now more prone to fracture easily. This can lead to more complications, and so it is always better to cap the tooth to restore its shape & contour and to enhance aesthetics and to prevent it from fracturing.
After a root canal treatment, lips and gums may remain numb for a few hours until the anaesthetic fade off. After root canal treatment, restored tooth with the new crown should work normally and look cosmetically beautiful. If patient follow good dental and oral hygiene, restored tooth could last a lifetime. The first few days after root canal procedure, the tooth might be sensitive. Longevita partner dentist may prescribe some medications in order to cease the pain. The pain usually lasts only a day or two.
If patient has an infected tooth, bacteria from the mouth can go into the bloodstream and cause infections in other parts of the body. People who have a suppressed immune system might require taking antibiotics before and after a root canal treatment.
As with any medical or dental procedure, there are some risks. These risks are all temporary and will fade out gradually. The common risks are as follows:
- Bleeding, pain, soreness and infection
- Reaction to local anaesthetics
- Stiff or sore jaw joint
Root canal treatment might be contraindicated for patients who have below diseases;
- Immune system disorders
- Bleeding disorders
- Circulatory problems that can cause healing problems
- Radiation necrosis
- Severe active diabetes
- Severe anaemia
- Rheumatic fever
- Peptic ulcer
- Hypertension or history of any heart disease
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- Consultation and Aftercare in London
- Guaranteed Quality
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- Immediate Availability
- Top Medical Staff
- Certified Clinics
Disclaimer: This page is designed to supply useful information but is not to be regarded as advice specific to any particular case. It does not replace the need for a thorough consultation and all prospective patients should seek the advice of a suitably qualified medical practitioner.