- Root canal treatment.
- Root canal filling.
- Root canal posting (for planning future restoration of crown part of the tooth).
Endodontics is the dental specialty concerned with the study and treatment of the dental pulp. Root canal therapy is one of the most common procedures. If the dental pulp (containing nerves, arterioles, venules, lymphatic tissue, and fibrous tissue) becomes diseased or injured, endodontic treatment is required to save the tooth.
WHAT IS ENDODONTICS?
Endodontics is the diagnosis and treatment of inflamed and damaged pulps. Teeth are made up of protective hard covering (enamel, dentin and cementum) encasing a soft tissue living tissue called pulp. Pulp c0ntains blood vessels, nerves, fibers and connective tissue. The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth’s growth and developement. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.
HOW DOES PULP BECOME DAMAGED?
WHY DO I FEEL PAIN?
When pulp becomes infected, it causes increased blood flow and cellular activity and pressure cannot be relieved from inside the tooth. This causes pain. Pulp can even die without causing significant pain.
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF PULP IS INFECTED?
When pulp gets inflamed, it may cause toothache on taking hot or cold, spontaneous pain, pain on biting or on lying down.On occasion, a damaged pulp is noticed by drainage ,swelling and abscess at the root end. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms.
WHY DO I NEED ROOT CANAL THERAPY?
Because the tooth will not heal by itself, the infection may spread around the tissue causing destruction of bone and supporting tissue. This may cause tooth to fall out . Root canal treatment is done to save the damaged pulp by thoroughly cleaning and shaping the root canal system and then filling it with gutta-percha material to prevent recontamination of the tooth. Tooth is permanently restored with crown with or without post.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES TO ROOT CANAL THERAPY?
If tooth is seriously damaged and its support is compromised, then EXTRACTION is the only alternative.
WHAT IS ROOT CANAL PROCEDURE?
DOES THE TOOTH NEEDS ANY SPECIAL CARE AFTER ENDODONTIC THERAPY?
Since unrestored tooth is more prone to fracture, so you should not chew hard until it has been completely restored, otherwise you should continue your regular oral hygiene routine including brushing, flossing and regular checkup.
HOW MANY VISITS WILL IT TAKE TO COMPLETE THIS TREATMENT?
Nowadays most of the treatment can be completed in 2-3 visits. But treatment time can vary according to the condition of the tooth.
WILL I FEEL PAIN DURING OR AFTER TREATMENT?
Nowadays will better techniques and better understanding of anesthesia, most of the patients feel comfortable during the treatment. But for the first few days after therapy, you might feel sensation especially if pain and infection was present prior to the procedure. This pain can be relieved by medication. If continuous severe pain or pressure remains, consults your endodontist.
WILL THE TOOTH NEED ANY SPECIAL CARE OR ADDITIONAL TREATMENT AFTER ENDODONTIC TREATMENT?
You should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist. The unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture, so you should visit your dentist for a full restoration as soon as possible. Otherwise, you need only practice good oral hygiene. Most endodontically treated teeth last as long as other natural teeth.
CAN ALL TEETH BE TREATED ENDODONTICALLY?
Most of the teeth can be treated endodontically. But sometimes when root canals are not accesible, root is severely fractured, tooth cannot be restored or tooth doesn’t have sufficient bone support, it becomes difficult to treat the tooth endodontically. However, advances in endodontics are making it possible to save the teeth that even a few years ago would have been lost.