The Complete Guide to Root Canal Treatment: Procedure, Benefits and Aftercare
Are you suffering from significant dental pain that is interfering with your everyday activities? Poor oral health affects not only you, but many others.
Having sound oral health is more essential than you might think. It directly affects the quality of life that you encounter everyday.
Root canal treatment is the solution that saves your teeth affected by injury or decay. Not only that, there are other benefits too. We will uncloak the same along with the treatment procedure, aftercare etc.
Ensure you read this blog till the end to gain more insights about root canal treatment.
What Is A Root Canal?
Root canal procedure removes the damaged or infected pulp from your mouth. Infected pulp may lead to abscesses, pain and tooth loss if left untreated. It needs a few visits only to save your tooth from extraction.
Your teeth contain several layers. The first one is enamel. Below that, there is a more rigid layer called dentin. Underneath the dentin, there is pulp.
A pulp is a soft tissue in between your teeth. It contains blood vessels, nerves and other connective tissues. Once the experts remove the pulp, the tooth is cleaned. Furthermore, they seal the area for further damage.
The pulp plays a crucial role in the tooth’s development and growth. Once a tooth gets matured, it can even survive without the pulp.
What Are The Causes Of Root Canal Issues?
- Teeth cracking
- Teeth grinding
- Gum disease
- Ongoing tooth decay
- Injured tooth
Common Signs You Need A Root Canal Treatment
- Gum darkening
- Tender and sore gums
- Facial swelling
- Intense sensitivity while having food or cold drinks
- Consistent tooth pain
How To Prepare Yourself For A Root Canal Procedure?
Once you determine you need to undergo the treatment, here are a few things you can do as preparation-
- As you have already decided to visit your nearest dental clinic, you still need to evaluate the scope of the root canal. It includes removing the damaged tissue inside the tooth and sealing the same. Also, a root canal is necessary once the tooth's nerve gets infected.
- Now, you need a dental expert with experience in serving patients. You can check the previous reviews of the dentist you have chosen.
- You need to intake a good amount of food before your appointment. Dentists may use anesthesia for the treatment. If you have an empty stomach, it can cause nausea.
- Ask your friend/parents to accompany you during the dental clinic visit. You need someone to return you at home, as the dentist may use sedation during the treatment.
- Lastly, you need to relax before the appointment. You don’t need to panic as it may excite your nerves. It can affect the treatment.
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Step-By-Step Procedure Of Root Canal Treatment
The process entails a few steps performed by a dentist. Here you go-
Step 1- Diagnosis
A dental expert will perform a thorough examination to ascertain the present condition. He/she will initiate an X-ray to assess the damaged area in order to make a treatment plan.
Step 2- Anaesthesia
The dentist will numb the area by using an injection. It will send the numbing agent to the tooth’s root and gums.
Step 3- Isolation
Once done, the dentist places a dental dam inside the mouth. It will isolate the tooth that needs treatment from the rest fine ones.
Step 4- Pulp removal
After placing the dental dam, the dentist will open the tooth's crown. It will help the dentist to access the pulp chamber. Moving forward, the infected will be gently removed by using specialized tools.
Step 5- Cleaning and shaping
The root canal system will be cleaned using a series of small files. This ensures that the infected tissues will be removed completely. Therefore, the canals will be prepared for filling.
Step 6- Disinfection
The dentist will flush a disinfectant solution to remove debris and bacteria.
Step 7- Filling
Cleaned canals will now fill with a gutta-percha. After that, it will be sealed with dental cement to prevent further infection.
Step 8- Partial restoration
The dentist will add a temporary filling to protect the tooth. It will be there until the permanent restoration is applied.
Step 9- Permanent restoration
During the follow-up appointment, the dentist will remove the temporary filling to place a permanent restoration. It may include a dental crown for restoring the tooth’s appearance and length.
Benefits Of Undergoing Root Canal Treatment
- Prevents further infection- Tooth decaying results from infection in the pulp. Once bacteria accumulate in that area, your pulp can be infected. Also, it may affect the neighbouring tooth. Root canals can help you to eliminate the bacteria-infected pulp while preventing the same from further spreading.
- Prevents tooth loss- Some people opt for tooth extraction to remove the decayed tooth. However, it leaves a wide gap between your teeth. Even the food particles may enter to cause you discomfort. The root canal preserves the teeth’s natural structure while preventing tooth loss.
- Relatively painless- Root canal procedure is painless compared to tooth extraction. The dentist can use anaesthesia to make the area numb. Once done, he removes the pulp and disinfects the area.
- Prevents jawbone complication- A root canal procedure leaves your teeth in their actual shape. It doesn’t degenerate the jawbone due to bacteria overexposure. Therefore, no to fewer complications will be experienced.
- Restores visual appeal- The dentist removes the infected pulp while filling the cavity with a crown. The crown of your teeth will ensure smooth functioning to restore its aesthetic value.
Things You Must Follow As An Aftercare Procedure
- Be gentle during brushing and flossing your teeth without aggravating it.
- Stick to soft foods during the treatment period. Also, avoid any kind of sugary beverages.
- Don’t chew anything hard, as the tooth can be in brittle condition unless the crown is placed after the treatment.
- If you experience pain post-treatment, you can take prescribed pain relievers to alleviate pain.
- Refrain from smoking as it may affect the healing process. Avoid smoking for two days, at least, after the treatment.
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FAQs For Root Canal Treatment
1. How long does a root canal treatment procedure take?
Based on the case complexity, the root canal treatment duration will depend. Usually, the procedure takes 90 minutes to finish. You may require additional appointments to fix a dental crown as a permanent restoration.
2. Will root canal treatment hurt?
You don’t need to be nervous during the root canal procedure. The dentist will apply a local anaesthesia, so the treatment won’t be painful. You may experience mild discomfort after the procedure.
3. How much does a root canal treatment cost?
Root canal treatment costs will vary based on the affected tooth's complexity. Some private health care insurance may cover endodontic treatment and permanent restoration. You can check with your nearest dental clinic to know the costs.
4. When can I resume my daily activities after the treatment?
People can begin their daily activities after the treatment itself. However, if the dentist has sedated you, you may need a day or two to resume the activities.