Root Canal Treatment
Where possible, it’s always better to leave a natural tooth in the mouth than to extract it and replace it. A root canal is a surgical dental procedure often used as a last resort to save a diseased tooth. They can be an effective method of preventing the need to extract a tooth, and can prolong the life of a natural tooth for many years.
What Is Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is designed to clear away infections from the inside of a tooth.
Beneath the hard outer layers of the tooth is a soft tissue known as the pulp. This supplies blood to the tooth and surrounds the tooth nerve. When a tooth is infected, it’s possible for the infection to reach this innermost pulp, causing pain and inflammation. As bacteria breaks down the pulp, the tooth itself becomes weakened and susceptible to cracks and breaking.
Root canal treatment removes this infected pulp, clearing away the infection and allowing the tooth to heal.
Root Canal Treatment Process
A small hole is drilled through the enamel of the tooth. This hole allows the dentist to use specialist instruments to carefully remove the infected pulp tissue without damaging the tooth nerve.
Even if only part of the pulp is infected, it’s necessary to remove the entire pulp to prevent reinfection. Once this is complete, a special gum-like substance is inserted into the empty tooth to cover the nerve and restore the lost internal support.
Root Canal Treatment Recovery
Root canals have a reputation as horribly painful procedures, but this is very rarely the case. Post-operative care for root canals is actually fairly unremarkable. There is swelling and tenderness for several days. Pain is typically mild and almost always managed with over the counter medications. Rarely are strong painkillers required.
Benefits of Root Canal Treatment
Prevent the Need for Extraction. A severely infected tooth will inevitably break down and require extracting. Missing teeth can cause other complications, and replacing them is often time consuming and costly process.
By treating the infection, dentists allow patients to keep their natural teeth for many years longer.
Relieve Pain. The popular belief tends to be that root canals cause the pain; the reality is that pain causes root canals. Tooth pulp infections can cause severe pain, and root canal is the best way to deal with this. After the expected post-operative tenderness has died down, root canal patients patients are able to return to normal life without constant, searing toothache.
Prevent Further Disease. Oral infections can have serious consequences on the rest of the body. Tooth and gum disease increase the risk of cardiovascular problems and can cause a range of complications elsewhere in the body. In pregnant women, diseases of the mouth can even cause complications with their unborn children. Treating an infected tooth with a root canal helps clear away the infection and prevent bacteria from entering the bloodstream to affect the rest of the body.