When is the root canal treatment needed?
Root canal treatment is needed when the root or the pulp of the tooth gets infected due to decay. An untreated cavity is the most common reason for the infection in the root nerve and tooth pulp. If left untreated, it can spread into gums and form an abscess. The pain and inflammation can affect the day to day activity of the patient. The infection can be caused due to negligence in dental hygiene after a filling. Another reason that pulp may get infected is chipping away of tooth due to wear and tear or accident. The following symptoms can indicate the need for a root canal treatment.
- Extreme toothache while chewing or slight pressure.
- Referred pain in the head, behind a single eye or ear.
- Over and persistent sensitivity to head and cold.
- Discoloration or chipping away of the tooth.
- Inflammation of the gums surrounding the tooth
Diagnosis is done on the basis of symptoms and checking sensitivity of the affected tooth. In some cases X-rays are taken for confirmation of the site of the root canal. The ray may show slight widening of the ligament that holds the tooth or a black spot at the root of the tooth.
Root Canal Procedure
- Firstly, your dentist may desensitize the tooth and the surrounding area with the help of some gels. Then the pulp area will be approached by drilling small hole in the tooth.
- Then the inside area of the canal is cleaned with the special files of varying thicknesses.
- The molars may typically have more canals and hence could mean more number of sittings with the dentist. A temporary dressing is given in between sessions.
- After the cleaning process is complete the cavity is filled with sealing paste.
After the filling of the cavity is complete, the tooth needs to be capped with a crown. This can be a metal crown or made of ceramic. This is required in order to prevent the remaining away from direct pressure and also protect it from chipping away. The root canal treatments have a very high success rate of about 95%.
Root canal is not as painful as it is projected. Appropriate procedural care is adapted by the dentist for comfort of the patient.