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Root canal therapy is an endodontic procedure that precisely involves removing the pulp from an infected tooth and restoring it with a dental filling. This process is performed on a tooth that is severely decayed.
Root canal therapy, though a very common process, is associated with many misconceptions. The process is not, in any way, painful or uncomfortable if it is done by a trained dental professional. During the process, the patient would be administered with anesthesia. The process is normally completed in a day or two, but if there are multiple root canals, it may require a few extra visits. It is rather a pain-relieving procedure and is considered as a last resort method of saving a badly infected tooth. The treated tooth would be restored using a crown, until which the patient must take care not to bite or chew anything close to it. This could result in tooth failure as it would be weak. But, once the crowning is done, you can bite and chew foods like normal.
What are the symptoms of a root canal infection?
There are a number of symptoms through which the need for root canal therapy can be detected. Some of them are as follows:
- Extreme pain while biting, chewing, or opening the mouth.
- Small blisters on the gums due to the microbes.
- Persistent sensitivity to cold or hot foods even long after they have been swallowed.
- The surrounding area of the infected tooth tastes foul.
- Tender gums and swelling in the jaw area.
- Gums begin to darken or there is a deep decay.
- At times, fever can also be taken as a symptom.
- In extreme conditions, the tooth may loosen from its socket due to jawbone deterioration.
How is a root canal procedure carried out?
Firstly, a latex sheet known as a rubber dam is placed to isolate the infected tooth. Then, through a process of drilling on either the chewing side or tongue side of the tooth, through to where the pulp is present, the infected pulp is removed with the help of small files. Next, the measurement of the tooth is taken via specially designed instruments for the filling. The contaminants and bacteria are washed away using a jet of water. The tooth is shaped and kept dry for the root canal filling and sealers, after which a small amount of medication will be placed in the tooth to prevent reinfection. A permanent or temporary filling will be used to seal the opening used for the treatment. Lastly, as for a permanent restoration, a crown will be placed to prevent it from further infection or undergoing damage due to the forces applied to it.
Advantages of root canal therapy
Following are the reasons to opt for a root canal therapy
- It reduces pain in the infected tooth and the surrounding region. Since the pulp is removed, the tooth wouldn’t experience any sensation.
- It prevents the infection from spreading all over the mouth. The bacteria from the infected tooth would be capable of not only infecting the teeth but also other organs of the body as they can get circulated through the bloodstream. Root canal therapy prevents this.
- The process doesn’t hamper the alignment of the teeth. But, in the case of a tooth extraction, a visible gap is left in the mouth.
- It prevents the abscess formation.
- It only takes a few days for one to resume their regular oral activities again.
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