How Root Canal Treatment Saves Teeth
Toothache is considered to be one of the most painful health conditions. Richard Braxter was not wrong when he wrote:
An aching tooth is better out than in.
To lose a rotting member is a gain.
However, with advances in dentistry, there are better options than to get rid of aching teeth. Root Canal Treatment is a safe procedure that can relieve pain and save the teeth. There can be no better replacement for the natural teeth. Complied below is a list of frequently asked questions on root canal treatment.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Root Canal Treatment is a dental procedure which is done to repair and save the tooth and involves removal of pulp and nerve from the canal / cavity of a decayed or infected tooth.
Once the damaged, diseased or dead pulp is removed, the remaining space is cleaned, shaped, disinfected and filled. This procedure seals off the root canal.
What are the causes of pulp damage?
The most common causes of pulp damage or death are:
A cracked tooth.
A deep cavity.
An injury to a tooth.
Deep Decay of Tooth.
Repeated Dental Procedures on a tooth.
Why Does Tooth Pulp Need to Be Removed?
When a tooth’s nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or abscess inside the tooth.
In addition to an abscess, an infection in the root canal can cause:
- Swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head.
- Bone loss around the tip of the root.
- Drainage problems extending outward from the root. A hole can occur through the side of the tooth with drainage into the gums or through the cheek with drainage into the skin.
How do we know that a Root Canal Treatment is needed?
The presence of any of the following complaint might indicate the need for root canal treatment:
- Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure
- Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures
- Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
Sometimes no symptoms are present.
What are the steps involved in Root Canal Treatment?
A root canal treatment requires one or more visits to a dentist. There are a number of steps that occur over these visits.
- X-ray – The first step in the procedure is to take an X-ray to see the shape of the root canals and determine if there are any signs of infection in a surrounding bone.
- Anaesthesia – Local anaesthesia may be administered to the affected tooth.
- Pulpectomy – an opening is made and the diseased tooth pulp is removed.
- Filling – the roots that have been opened (to get rid of the disease pulp) are filled with gutta-percha material and sealed off with cement.
How Painful Is a Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful. Actually, most people report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed.
What Should One Expect After the Root Canal Treatment?
For the first few days following the completion of a root canal treatment, the tooth may feel sensitive due to natural tissue inflammation. This sensitivity or discomfort can be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications.
Most patients can return to their normal activities the next day.
Until the root canal procedure is completely finished — that is to say, the permanent filling or the crown is in place, it is wise to minimise chewing on the tooth under repair. This step will help avoid re-contamination of the interior of the tooth and also may prevent a fragile tooth from breaking before the tooth can be fully restored.
As far as oral health care is concerned, brushing and flossing is recommended as done regularly.
The dentist need to visited at normally scheduled intervals.
How Successful Are Root Canal Procedures?
Root canal treatment is highly successful with more than a 95% success rate. Many teeth fixed with a root canal can last a lifetime. Also, because the final step of the root canal procedure is application of a restoration such as a crown or a filling, it will not be obvious to onlookers that a root canal was performed.
What are the complications of Root Canal Treatment?
The most common complication of root canal treatment is re-infection.
Despite the dentist’s best efforts to clean and seal a tooth, new infections might emerge after the root canal treatment due to reasons like:
- More than the normally anticipated number of root canals in a tooth resulting in leaving one of them uncleaned.
- An undetected crack in the root of a tooth.
- A defective or inadequate dental restoration which then allows bacteria to get past the restoration into the inner aspects of the tooth and recontaminate the area.
- A breakdown of the inner sealing material over time, allowing bacteria to recontaminate the inner aspects of the tooth
What are the alternatives to a Root Canal Treatment?
Saving the natural teeth is the best option as it allows us to eat a wide variety of foods necessary to maintain proper nutrition.
The only alternative to a root canal procedure is having the tooth extracted and replaced with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture. Replacement with dentures or bridge is a must to restore the chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting.
These alternatives not only are more expensive than a root canal procedure but require more treatment time and additional procedures.
What is the cost of a Root Canal Treatment?
The cost varies depending on the tooth involved and severity of the problem. The cost also depends on the type of city a person is getting the treatment done. It will be costlier in metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore. As of first quarter of 2016, the Cost of Root Canal Treatment in Siliguri starts from 2500 Rs and onward. Crowns are charged extra.
Before you book an appointment, for Root Canal Treatment Procedure please take a note of the clinic timings. You may also read about the doctors team or learn a more about the services offered at Dr Agarwal’s Clinic, Siliguri. To help you with the clinic’s location, there is a dedicated page on how to reach the clinic. We have a membership discount scheme for the patients who require frequent consultations for their skin and dental problems. To provide patients on updates about the clinic’s activities, we publish a blog for our online visitors. If you have a query you may read more about us or feel free to contact us.