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Root Canal Therapy

ROOT CANAL THERAPY

Root canal is a dental procedure which helps in removing the entire internal parts, mainly pulp chamber of the tooth. It also involves the filling of the prepared empty cavity with a suitable bio-compatible material. This procedure is done and advised only when the tooth can not compensate restoring material in a small cavity on the surface. The procedure involves the removal of the nervous elements of the tooth which have been infected or decayed already due to microbial action or any physical pressures.

The procedure that involves the root canal is also called as root canal therapy or root canal treatment. This is the only procedure that can help when the entire pulp and its contents are decayed. This procedure of root canal treatment can be done by a general dentist, but the one who specializes in this field is an Endodontist.

How is a root canal treatment done?

  1. The dentist diagnoses a patient and advices for the treatment if the root canal is decayed.
  2. The tooth area is isolated with the help of rubber dam kit, which is a rubber sheet fitted with the help of clamps or clips around the tooth which is going to be treated. This isolation helps in ease of operation for the dentist and prevents the entry of mixing of fluids from the motor and the saliva in the mouth.
  3. The dentist would then prepare a cavity by the help of an aerotor which is done with proper outline and depth into the root, but this does not eliminate all the contents of the pulp chamber. Then the root canal files are used to entirely clean the root. These root canal files increase in thickness when they enter the root and help in removal of the pulp of the tooth.
  4. After this is done, there are 2 ways of which one is chosen by the dentist – Either do everything else in a single seating or sealing the cavity with a soothing medicine with a temporary filling material for a week until the next seating is called for the completion of the procedure.
  5. The use of soothing medicine is that it prevents the spread of further infection, if there was any prior to the cavity preparation, or also prevention of occurrence of any new infection in that region.
  6. The final stage includes the filling of the canal with some plastic material called  which are bio-compatible, and after the canal is filled, a suitable and aesthetic regular cement filling is done over it, which can be accompanied with crown placement sometimes.

How Successful Are Root Canals?

Root canal treatment is highly successful; the procedure has 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.

 

Complications of a Root Canal

Despite your dentist’s best efforts to clean and seal a tooth, new infections might emerge after a root canal. Among the likely reasons for this include:

  • More than the normally anticipated number of root canals in a tooth (leaving one of them uncleaned)
  • An undetected crack in the root of a tooth
  • A defective or inadequate dental restoration that has allowed 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

Sometimes retreatment can be successful, other times endodontic surgery must be tried in order to save the tooth. The most common endodontic surgical procedure is an apicoectomy or root-end resection. This procedure relieves the inflammation or infection in the bony area around the end of your tooth that continues after endodontic treatment. In this procedure, the gum tissue is opened, the infected tissue is removed, and sometimes the very end of the root is removed. A small filling may be placed to seal the root canal.

Root Canal Prevention

Since some of the reasons why the nerve of a tooth and its pulp become inflamed and infected are due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth and/or large fillings, following good oral hygiene practices (brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and scheduling regular dental visits) may reduce the need for a root canal procedure. Trauma resulting from a sports-related injury can be reduced by wearing a mouth guard.

A root canal requires one or more office visits and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the human dental pulp or the nerve of the tooth. The choice of which type of dentist to use depends to some degree on the difficulty of the root canal procedure needed in your particular tooth and the general dentist’s comfort level in working on your tooth. Your dentist will discuss who might be best suited to perform the work in your particular case.

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