Although root canals are frequently considered one of the more unpleasant dentistry procedures, with the advancement of dental processes over the years, they have now become an unpleasant thought of the past! It is a procedure we commonly undertake, as your local Shepparton Dentist. If you have a tooth that is causing you considerable pain, it is well worth knowing that a root canal procedure may be the only treatment option available to you.
Our article will hopefully give you more insight into understanding the three most essential elements of root canal:
- The reasons behind the pain
- How can teeth be saved?
- After root canal treatment, will I need a dental crown?
The reasons behind the pain
Pulp Inflammation (pulpitis)
When most patients hear the words “root canal” mentioned by their dentist, they fear the worst! Why, because of the pain they associate with it and the process needed to correct it. Although it can be true of some patients, in that they do experience major discomfort, the pain is typically caused by the gum pulp becoming infected. These infections are generally a reaction to bacteria entering the tooth leading to the pulp becoming infected. Known as pulpitis, it comprises blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. When the bacteria create the subsequent infection and inflammation in the pulp, it also triggers pain. Once the pulp is infected, it can spread to other teeth and ultimately lead to more severe pain.
The conventional method of root canal consists of the removal of infected pulp from the inside of the tooth with the use of specialised dental tools. Dental anaesthetic is used during this procedure, so you will not feel any part of the process. After the procedure, once all the infected pulp has been removed, and once the anaesthetic has worn off, it will be less painful or completely pain-free. However, you may experience some tenderness or soreness for approximately 24-48 hours afterward as the inflammation slowly diminishes.
How can teeth be saved?
If the inside of your tooth develops an infection, your dentist will need to remove the infected tissue to stop it from spreading and avoid the infected tooth from falling out. There are antibiotics available to treat some types of infection; pulpitis infections cannot be treated this way as they cannot be reached via the bloodstream. Simply put, the only option available to deal with an infected tooth is by removing the pulp tissue or the whole tooth. The root canal procedure enables your dentist to extract the unhealthy tissue from the inside of your tooth, avoiding the need for any extraction.
The majority of patients prefer to preserve their teeth and avoid tooth extraction, where possible. Even the removal of one tooth can create complications, which may be avoided by having a root canal procedure.
After a root canal, will I need a dental crown?
Yes, is the simple answer. Following a root canal procedure, your dentist will need to add a crown because the inside of your tooth will be hollow. Your dentist will then fill the hollowed area with a rubber-type substance, but after treatment, a tooth is inclined to be structurally weaker than normal. The protective cap provides a safety covering; it allows the tooth to heal completely and prevents any damage from arising in the future.
For those patients experiencing intense pain from a tooth infection, root canal treatment is the most viable option. If you think that your tooth may be infected or it has been affecting your day-to-day life, then book an appointment to see your dentist today!