What is a root canal and how you know you need it

root canal - root canal treatment

Root canal obturation is the procedure that the specialist dentist will perform when a tooth is extremely caries, broken or presents other serious problems, but it can be saved from extraction.

The problems that our teeth can develop, sometimes due to improper oral hygiene, diet and our lifestyle, other times apparently without a reason attributable to us, can have very great consequences for the quality of life.

These problems, if untreated for a long time, can damage the tooth, nerve, create abscesses, and finally, the tooth will have to be extracted.

Signs of infection of the pulp of the tooth

Our body will alert us when something is wrong, we just have to listen to it. In order not to get to a canal obturation operation, we must take care of the following symptoms:

  • You feel pain and discomfort when eating food or drinking hot and cold drinks;
  • Your gum is inflamed or you have developed a dental abscess.

If you present one of these problems, it is very important to talk to your dentist. Following a consultation and an x-ray of the teeth, it will be established where the caries (or infection) is located and what are the necessary steps for a good endodontic treatment.

What is the root canal?

After the consultation and X-ray, local anesthesia and isolation of the tooth will be performed. With the help of a cutter, a channel will be created to the pulp of the tooth. Anesthesia ensures that you will not feel any pain. The decayed part of the tooth will be removed, then the canal is completely cleaned.

Next, in order to be sure that the area heals completely and will not become infected, an antiseptic solution will be inserted into the canal, and at the end, the sealing of the canals is carried out, followed by the filling of the tooth. Solving the problems of the affected teeth can be completed in the end in a very special way, by applying dental veneers.

The tooth is filled with cement or other composite materials. For children who do canal obturation, since their teeth are not final, the material that seals the canals is absorbable. This means that the intervention of sealing the canal can be repeated in the future, until the permanent tooth erupts on the arch.

After the canal obturation, if the tooth can no longer be saved, and the simple filling is not enough, other treatments can be done that will restore the functionality of your teeth, but also the smile:

  • application of a dental crown;
  • dental implant.

How do we avoid root canal?

Whether we are talking about permanent teeth or milk teeth, we must know that when caries or other trauma occurs, both adults and children may experience pain or mastication problems.

Our teeth have 2 outer shells (enamel and dentin), plus a space where the dental pulp is found, that is, the nerve and blood vessels. From the dental pulp, the tooth develops, but once it reaches maturity, there are cases when it is no longer necessary and can be replaced (if so recommended by the doctor), with sterile root canal obturation materials.

Throughout our lives, no matter what age we are at, preserving our oral health must be one of the routine concerns. When caries occurs, the teeth are affected in depth, since through caries, bacteria have access to the nerve.

If no measures are taken in advance, as caries and other inflammations take place, we can end up in a situation where the tooth will die, and to avoid falling out and losing the tooth, endodontic treatment is recommended that will remove the affected tissue, followed by obturation of the canal.

Root canal treatment and the period of convalescence

There are certain situations when we need endodontic treatment to solve our dental problems. These can be when the pulp tissue becomes inflamed, or worse, becomes infected.

In general, when the pulp tissue becomes inflamed, it is from common causes such as a caries, cracks in the teeth, fractures, unnatural occlusion that overloads certain teeth, various repeated dental procedures or eating very cold or hot foods.

It is advisable not to skip the regular check-ups at the dentist, since at an early stage, dental inflammations of the nerves are reversible, but it is important to act and treat as quickly as possible the factor that causes the inflammation.

More severe cases, when inflammation has already led to infection of the dental pulp, are due to bacteria in saliva and eaten food, which penetrate into the sterile interior of the endodontic space.

Endodontic treatment step by step

Modern dentistry can carry out a root canal treatment, so as to save the affected tooth, avoiding extraction. This can be done using a microscope, the success rate, compared to classical channel treatments is thus much higher!

The microscope in endodontics provides the specialist doctor with very clear and detailed images of the root of the tooth, since the image is enlarged exponentially, up to 25 times more than what can be seen with the naked eye.

Canal treatment under a microscope, carried out with rotating instruments, is the most effective and complex method of work at the moment, this allows the doctor to detect all the canals of the tooth, effectively clean and easily identify other problems that the tooth may have.

The benefits of microscope-assisted canal treatment are:

  • Treatments have the highest success rate!
  • Provides a very high degree of treatment accuracy.
  • Increases patient comfort by shortening the working time.
  • Saves the tooth from its extraction and loss.

Our team of specialists works with the best materials and state-of-the-art equipment to help you save your tooth from extraction. If, however, saving the tooth is not possible, other solutions, such as a dental implant, will be considered.

Endodontic treatment can be summarized in the following stages:

  1. Anesthesia, if the discomfort is very high and you can not work without.
  2. Isolation of the tooth from saliva and blood (containing bacteria), or from other utensils, so that the specialist can work without creating discomfort.
  3. Cleaning of caries.
  4. Restoring the dental walls so that neither saliva nor blood penetrates inside the dental canal. This is important, because after cleaning, the necessary conditions for good drying of the area where the work was carried out must be met.
  5. The next step focuses on the root canal, namely, its widening and cleaning. After the canal is dry, the conduct of canal obturation is prepared.
  6. Channel obturation is generally performed with channel obturation paste and gutta-perches or MTA cement, which can be used simultaneously or partially, depending on how complicated the work is, how large the diameter of the affected area is, etc.
  7. After the root canal obturation, proceed to the filling of the tooth.

Recovery after a root canal treatment

After carrying out root canal treatment, the tooth will continue to be sensitive for several days or perhaps even longer. This is normal, since the tooth tissue “feels” after the recent intervention, but the painful area will heal.

It should be borne in mind that if the inflammation was very high, and if there were other problems, such as swelling or abscess, the healing of the affected area will be carried out more slowly.

Immediately after treatment you need to clean the tooth in the bite, if it is not completely restored, in order to avoid the risk of fracture.

After the end of endodontic treatment, you will have to go to the prosthetician for a restoration, in order to avoid the tooth becoming brittle or breaking (with the extraction of the nerve, the tooth will practically lose its source of food).

About author: B.M. Paunica

Who am I? I am here to help. I don’t sell anything, I don’t promote one company or another, I don’t represent the interests of any particular clinic or doctor. I simply read, check and write about best destinations for affordable dental treatment. I am an experienced researcher and digital publisher in all YMYL fields. I have studied Management at Romanian-American University and Law at Bioterra University. I also manage "Dental abroad - Affordable dental care" FB page.

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One thought on “What is a root canal and how you know you need it

  1. does it hurt to do that? hurts less in other country, e.g. maybe they have less restrictive rules on the anesthetic? I don’t care about side effects, I just need to know it will not hurt AT ALL

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