Root canal which is also known as endodontic treatment is a type of treatment that is done to the inside of a tooth if the pulp is infected or inflamed. The pulp is the soft substance that is found at the center of the tooth and consists of the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. Tooth infection or inflammation can be caused by repeated dental procedures, deep decay, and crack on the tooth or faulty crowns, and if it is left untreated, it leads to pain or the development of an abscess. You would be recommended to have a root canal procedure if you have prolonged sensitivity to cold or heat, tenderness in the lymph nodes and nearby gum tissues and bone, tenderness to touch and chewing, pain and swelling.
The procedure is mostly done on the molars. The molars are important teeth in the mouth as they are used for chewing and grinding food. If they start paining, it would be better to do root canal rather than remove them because it would cause your cheeks to have a sunken look and also cause your jawbone to start deteriorating.
Root canal involves removal of the infected or inflamed pulp; the inside is then cleaned, shaped and disinfected and then it is filled and sealed with a rubber like material called gutta-percha. After a few weeks, the treatment is restored with a filling or crown for protection purposes and restores its function. Depending on the condition of the tooth, the dentist may put a small supporting post inside the root chamber so as to make the restoration or crown more stable.
After the procedure
The aftercare after a root canal is very important. Maintain a good oral care routine which includes brushing twice a day and flossing so as to sustain the health of the tooth.
Schedule to see a dentist so as to be done an x-ray which will show if all the infection is gone and also for regular cleaning and examinations.
Avoid chewing on hard food before the tooth is restored as it can cause the tooth to break hence causing harm to the root canal.
Most root canal treatment does last a lifetime and help restore the natural smile, and you continue eating foods that you love without any limits. However, at times the root canal may become painful, diseased or not heal properly, months or years after the treatment. This will cause you to be done re-treatment so as to heal the tooth and save the tooth.
During re-treatment, the dentist will have to reopen the tooth and remove the filling material that was put in place during the first procedure. He then examines the tooth carefully and looks for any infection or canals and if any infection, he will remove it, clean, shape and place a new filling material on the canals. The tooth is then filled with a temporary filling and once the tooth heals a new crown or other restoration is done on the tooth to protect it.