When root canal treatment is needed
Root canal treatment is only required when dental X-rays show that the pulp has been damaged by a bacterial infection.
The pulp will begin to die if it's infected by bacteria, allowing the bacteria to then multiply and spread.
The symptoms of a pulp infection include:
. Pain when eating or drinking hot or cold food and drink
. Pain when biting or chewing
. A loose tooth
As the infection progresses, these symptoms often disappear as the pulp dies.
Your tooth then appears to have healed, but the infection has in fact spread through the root canal system.
You eventually get further symptoms such as:
. Pain when biting or chewing returning
. Swelling of the gum near the affected tooth
. Pus oozing from the affected tooth
. Facial swelling
. The tooth becoming a darker color
It's important to see your dentist if you develop toothache. If your tooth is infected, the pulp cannot heal by itself.
Leaving the infected tooth in your mouth may make it worse.
There may also be less chance of the root canal treatment working if the infection within your tooth becomes established.
Antibiotics, a medicine to treat bacterial infections, are not effective in treating root canal infections.
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As with any procedure, complications can occur.
. Sometimes the dentist only finds three root canals in a tooth that has four. If one canal remains untreated, the infection might continue and spread into the bone.
. The dentist must also make sure the filling material goes far enough into the canal, to fill it up. If the root canal is not properly sealed, the infection could return.
. During the procedure, the root of the tooth may crack, or the instruments can break in the canal or perforate the canal. This makes it hard to fill the tooth effectively.
If complications occur, a specialist can try to correct the problem and complete the root canal.
To avoid complications, patients should always follow the dentist’s instructions. If an antibiotic is needed, it is important to finish the entire prescription.
It is essential to have a permanent restoration placed, such as a crown, once the root canal therapy is complete.
To prevent infections, tooth decay, and gum disease, dentists recommend:
. Brushing teeth last thing at bedtime and at least one other time each day
. Using toothpaste that contains fluoride
. Using a suitable toothbrush and replacing it regularly
. Attending regular dental checkups and cleanings
. Flossing to clean between the teeth and prevent the buildup of plaque
. Avoiding sugary drinks and foods, and following a healthy diet.
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A lot of times people feel that the only solution for most dental issues such as decays and inflammation is tooth extraction. But the better solution is getting a restoration service such as root canal treatment. However, not everyone may be the ideal candidate for root canal treatment. To understand if you are the right person for this therapy, see if you have these signs.
. You have severe decays
Your teeth, especially the molars can decay if you don’t follow proper oral hygiene or binge on sweet and acidic foods. If not treated in time, decays can grow and cause deeper damage in your teeth. Deep damages can lead touch the surface where your gum nerves are situated and then result in pain. So, if you have excessive decay, root canal treatment can be the best solution to remove the decayed portion and restore your dental structure.
. You have tooth sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity happens when your tooth enamel is eroded due to any reason. When this outermost layer depletes, you feel pain or discomfort every time you consume something hot or cold. If you experience discomfort in your molars or teeth located on the rear side, you may mostly need a root canal treatment to solve the issue. You can visit your dentist and figure out of this therapy will be ideal for your oral situation.
. Your gum area is swollen
If your gums are tender, red, and swollen, and you feel persistent pain in your gums, it can be due to an underlying issue. Your dentist will be able to examine your oral health and figure out why your gums are hurting. If your dentist suggests because the pain just won’t go after medication and other solutions, root canal treatment can be ideal.
. You experience pain
If you experience intense pain in a particular part of your mouth, it can be an alarming sign of a dental issue. If this pain remains for a long time, it can be due to decay or cavity or even as the starting point of gum disease. And if you don’t have any dental issue such as decays but still experience intense pain, it can be a reason to worry. Your dentist will recommend root canal treatment based on the oral issues you have.
Apart from these signs, other symptoms that may require a root canal treatment include a shaky tooth, discolored tooth, prolonged sensitivity, fractured tooth, etc. You must always talk to your dentist and see what solution they suggest.
If you are suffering from an infected tooth, there are a lot of reasons why an endodontic treatment is an ideal solution. Here are 5 amazing benefits when choosing root canal therapy to treat your infected tooth:
How painful is it?
One of the great fears about this kind of treatment is that it will be painful, but the treatment that is carried out by a trained dental surgeon should be relatively painless.
The pain that is felt comes from the infection and not from the treatment. The treatment does not cause pain; it helps to alleviate it.
The dental surgeon will relieve the pain of the procedure by numbing the tooth and surrounding area with local anesthesia.
After the treatment, some tenderness is normal. It is temporary, and over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication may be enough to relieve it. If needed, prescription drugs, such as codeine, are available.
The dentist may prescribe an antibiotic to treat or prevent infection.
How many visits does a root canal take?
Most root canals can be done in one to two appointments. The first appointment is the procedure itself when the infected pulp is removed. The second (and maybe third) appointment is when the root canal gets cleaned and filled with a crown or other filling to prevent infections. Each appointment lasts roughly 90 minutes each.
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Root Canal Procedure and Treatment Steps
A root canal is a multi-step dental procedure that involves removing the infected tooth pulp (and sometimes the nerve) from a tooth, and sealing it to protect against future teeth pain.
Here’s what you can expect when you have a root canal procedure to relieve root canal pain:
. Setting the Scene: Your dental professional will take an x-ray to determine the extent of the infection.
. Numbing Up: The first step in the actual procedure is a local anesthetic to numb the area and prevent teeth pain during the procedure. You will receive a local anesthetic to make you more comfortable, and a sheet of rubber called a “rubber dam” will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry.
. Diving In: Next, your dentist or endodontist will drill an access hole into the tooth and use special tools to remove the damaged nerve and pulp tissue.
. Closing Out: Once the infected material is removed, your dentist will either seal the tooth on the same day, or put in a temporary filling to protect you from root canal pain until a customized crown is ready. Sealing the tooth involves placement of a rubber compound into the root canal where the decayed material was removed. A filling is placed over the access hole.
. Finishing Up: A crown, filling, or other tooth restoration completes the process of relieving your root canal pain. In some cases, your dentist may leave the tooth open so additional material can drain out of the tooth before it is filled and sealed. Some dentists will put a temporary filling in the tooth to protect the area while the infected material drains away completely. Many people who have undergone the procedure say it is no worse than having a cavity filled.
It's important to look after your teeth when recovering from root canal treatment.
. Till your root canal procedure is done, avoid chewing on the tooth being repaired.
. After the root canal, you can brush and floss normally.
. If you have gone for further restoration of your teeth like a crown, call the dentist if your bite feels uneven or if your tooth feels “tight” or if you have problems flossing around the tooth.
. Gently brush your teeth or rinse your mouth 2 to 3 times every day, preferably once after each meal. Your brush must have soft bristles. After brushing and flossing, rinse with an anti-plaque mouthwash.
. Eat soft foods for a day or two after your first root canal appointment. You should avoid biting on hard foods until your treatment is complete.
. After a root canal procedure, you can eat and drink normally, including alcohol, once the numbness wears off.
. Do not bend over or lift heavy things for 2 to 3 days, if this makes you feel pain.
. After your final treatment, your restored tooth should no longer be painful, although it may feel sensitive for a few days.
. You can take over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to relieve any discomfort.
. You can also try to rinse the area thrice a day with tepid salt water to reduce the discomfort. Another method to alleviate pain and swelling is ice bags.
. Put ice cubes in a plastic bag and wrap it with a towel. Place this pack on your jaw for about 15 minutes every hour.
. Return to your dentist if you still have pain or swelling after using painkillers.
In most cases it's possible to prevent the need for further root canal treatment by:
. Keeping your teeth clean
. Not eating too much sugary food
. Giving up smoking if you smoke
Root canals are over 95% successful and can last a lifetime. The most important thing to do to make a root canal last as long as possible is get the permanent restoration (fillings or crowns) on the tooth immediately following the root canal and maintain that restoration with impeccable hygiene.
A tooth that has had a root canal can still get a cavity, so a person must brush and floss the tooth thoroughly to keep it healthy. Since there is no nerve in the tooth, a person will not feel any symptoms if the tooth gets a cavity. The tooth will only hurt if it gets fractured or gets another abscess around it. The dentist will want to take checkup X-rays from time to time to check the tooth for reinfection or other signs of failure.
How much does a root canal cost?
The cost of root canals varies depending on the tooth and whether it is being treated by a general dentist or an endodontist. The average cost of a root canal in Iran is between $180-270.