Root Canal Treatment is a common dental procedure that is undertaken when the pulp (that provides blood or nerve supply to the tooth) becomes infected through decay or injury, sometimes this infection can cause an abscess. The procedure involves removal of this pulp followed by cleaning the inside of the tooth and sealing it with a filling. Root canal treatment prevents pain and infection in decayed or traumatised teeth, while keeping the tooth functioning in the mouth.
How do I know if I need root canal treatment?
Not all types of teeth pain are indications for a root canal. But signs of infection severe enough to require a root canal include:
- Extreme tooth pain when eating or when you put pressure on the area.
- Intense throbbing and/or sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers.
- A small, pimple-like bump on the gums near the area of tooth pain
- Darkening of the tooth, common after trauma.
- Tenderness or swelling in the gums near the area of teeth pain.
- Facial swelling.
- Pus and a bad taste in the mouth.
- No relief from analgesia.
The root canal treatment procedure takes between two to four visits for completion and usually consists of the following steps:
- The canals of the tooth are located and negotiated to the root of the tooth. Medication is placed in the canal and sealed.
- The canals are cleaned and shaped
- A filling is placed inside the root of the tooth
- A crown or filling is placed on top of the tooth for protection.
The procedure is usually totally painless, as the affected area will be numbed completely. However, some patients can experience discomfort during initial stages of this treatment, if the nerve tissue is inflamed. In such instances, you will be treated with antibiotics and analgesics.
Upon completion of this procedure, the tooth is often left weak and prone to breaking. Depending on the amount of tooth structure left, a crown is recommended by the dentist to prevent any future tooth loss.
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