According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), around 25 million root canal procedures are performed yearly. It won’t be wrong to say that dentists worldwide perform over 40,000 root canals daily. Root canal therapy has a 95% success rate, and the procedure is safe. Teeth fixed with a root canal can even last for a lifetime.
Modern dentistry allows saving a tooth without being pulled. Sometimes bacteria enter the pulp of the tooth to cause infection. This infection damages the tooth, which can either be extracted or saved through a root canal treatment. Root canal therapy is a cost-effective way to save a tooth, especially for those who cannot afford a bridge or crown. Please continue reading to learn more about root canal therapy and its procedure.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
The root canal is a dental treatment that aims to eliminate bacteria from an infected root canal. This treatment involves removing the infected pulp, cleaning the inside of the tooth, disinfecting it, and finally sealing it after adequate filling. Doing so helps prevent reinfection of the tooth and save it instead of extracting it.
When Does Anyone Need a Root Canal Therapy?
A root canal becomes necessary when oral bacteria attack the tooth pulp. There could be multiple reasons, for instance, dental caries or excessive tooth wear. This infected pulp causes tooth sensitivity and pain, which irritates the patient. Usually, when a cavity is left untreated for a longer time, a root canal is required. Or, when a tooth becomes damaged or cracked due to trauma, this treatment option helps to save the tooth.
Signs that indicate the patient needs a root canal
There are plenty of signs and symptoms that indicate a patient might require root canal treatment. Some of the dominant ones are:
- Constant tooth pain.
- Swollen gums.
- Tooth sensitivity.
- Tooth discoloration.
- Swollen jaw.
- Pimple on the gums.
- Pain while applying pressure.
- A cracked or chipped tooth.
- Loose tooth.
The symptoms can vary from person to person and even in their intensity or number. However, most patients come with these signs and symptoms when they require root canal therapy.
Root canal procedure
The root canal procedure starts with dental X-rays of the affected tooth. It helps determine the extent of the tooth damage and identifies whether a patient qualifies the criteria of root canal treatment or not. If they do, then the dentist prepares them for a root canal procedure which takes place in the following steps:
- Stage 1: Local anesthesia to numb the infected tooth and the surrounding gums.
- Stage 2: Placement of dental dam to isolate the tooth and keep it dry throughout the process.
- Stage 3: The dentist accesses the pulp by making a small opening in the tooth’s crown.
- Stage 4: They remove the infected pulp with the help of precise dental instruments.
- Stage 5: The canals are cleaned, disinfected, and shaped accordingly.
- Stage 6: They fill the empty canals with a rubbery dental material and seal the tooth.
- Stage 7: Finally, a dental crown protects the treated tooth and restores the bite.
Root canal therapy prevents infection from spreading and saves the tooth. It reduces the risk of jawbone damage and eliminates the need for tooth extraction. Typically, the root canal recovery doesn’t take long, and the patient can eat whatever foods he likes. However, a mild discomfort could be present for a few days and usually last for only a week. If you are a potential candidate for root canal therapy, do not delay and talk to your dentist right now. Save your tooth and get rid of discomfort due to infection.
This media/content or any other on this website does not prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. Therefore, we highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition.