What Is A Root Canal Treatment?
Root Canal Treatment is a dental procedure involving the removal of infected pulp tissue and replacing it with inert material. This helps relieve pain in a grossly decayed or infected tooth. Furthermore, it helps prevent the spread of the infection and saves the natural tooth in the oral cavity.
Teeth that can be saved by a root canal treatment are usually extracted to maintain the integrity of the oral cavity.
What Causes A Root Canal?
“Root canal” is the layman term for root canal treatment. The procedure is recommended when –
- A tooth has decayed beyond the point where a filling would be done. This usually occurs when the decay has reached the pulp chamber deep within the tooth structure. This can be a pretty painful condition.
- There are chips or cracks in the tooth that cause deep-seated caries.
- A tooth undergoes repeated treatments. This can adversely affect the tooth’s pulp chamber.
- A tooth becomes sensitized due to large fillings.
- A tooth experiences trauma, rendering it non-vital.
What Are The Symptoms That You Need A Root Canal Treatment?
The signs and symptoms that point to a possible root canal infection are –
- Severe toothache
- Pain when eating or biting down on the tooth in question
- Sensitivity to extreme temperatures even after the stimuli has been removed
- Change in color of a tooth, especially if it has darkened
- Inflammation or tenderness in the gums surrounding the tooth
- A small bump that looks like a pimple on the gum near the affected tooth
- Pus drainage from the concerned tooth
What Are The Different Steps Of A Root Canal Procedure?
A root canal treatment is a multi-step procedure which dentists perform. Endodontists are dentists specializing in this area.
Your dentist will examine the concerned tooth and your oral cavity to assess the situation. They will ask you to get X-rays done to get a better idea of the tooth structure and the spread of the decay.
Administration of Anesthesia
Since the root canal procedure involves the removal of the highly sensitive pulp tissue, local anesthesia is given to patients. This helps keep the patient pain-free and comfortable.
To protect the treatment site from contamination, a rubber sheet called a “rubber dam” is placed around the tooth. This also keeps the tooth dry.
Accessing The Chamber
Your dentist will start by drilling a hole in the center of the tooth. Its necessary for the subsequent reasons –
- To remove all of the decayed material
- To access the pulp chamber to remove the infected tissue
Removing The Infected Tissue
With the help of special tools, your dentist will proceed to remove the infected pulp tissue from the pulp chamber and root canals.
They will also constantly flush the chamber with saline to prevent debris formation within the canals.
Once all the infected material has been removed, the dentist will shape the canals using special filing instruments. They might seal the chamber on the same day or place a temporary filling and recall the patient on another day.
Sealing involves the placement of a rubbery inert material called “gutta-percha”. A permanent filling rests over the gutta-percha.
Placement Of Crown
Dentists do it at a later appointment. Since the removal of the pulp tissue makes the tooth non-vital, it also loses its strength. A dental crown helps protect the structural integrity of the treated tooth.
Do You Need A Crown After A Root Canal?
The placement of a crown on a tooth that has undergone a root canal treatment depends on various factors.
Location Of The Tooth
Posterior teeth – molars and premolars – are responsible for chewing and receive the highest forces. Experts recommend dental crown on these teeth.
The anterior teeth – the incisors and canines – don’t receive intense pressure during biting or chewing. These can get away without the placement of a dental crown.
Past Oral History
If the patient in question has good oral health, the other teeth are probably structurally sound. Your dentist might choose to not place a dental crown.
Small chips or cracks usually bond with composite resin to protect them.
Patients who tend to clench or grind their teeth consciously or subconsciously are recommended a dental crown. Since excessive forces can cause the already weak tooth to fracture, a crown is imperative.
Can Root Cavities Be Treated At An Early Stage?
Root cavities occur in the same way crown cavities do – by the proliferation of bacteria. A cavity develops on the surface of the root and eats away at it until intervened.
Studies show that root cavities tend to initiate and spread twice as fast as cavities anywhere else on the tooth. This makes early-stage intervention important to prevent damage to the tooth.
Older people, smokers, people with chronic diseases are more likely to get root caries. These scenarios can cause progressive gum disease, also called periodontitis. The gums move away from the gum line, exposing the roots of teeth. This can cause plaque settlement and eventually, caries.
Unless the damage has extended into the pulp cavity, a root cavity will be treated in the same way as any other cavity. The decayed area is removed and replaced with a filling material. The patient is asked to pay extra attention to their oral health to prevent future cavities.
How Much Does A Root Canal Treatment Cost?
The cost of a root canal treatment, like any other dental treatment, depends on various factors –
- The location of the tooth
- The extent of the damage
- The dentist performing the procedure
- The location of the dental office
- The coverage provided by the patient’s dental insurance
To find out more about root canal treatments and how much they’ll cost you, head on over to Valley Ridge Dental. To schedule a visit with our in-house expert, give us a call at (651) 439-0322. You can also get an idea about financials and the dental insurance plans we accept here.