Root canal treatment (also known as endodontic treatment) is a procedure used to treat damaged blood or nerve supply of the tooth (known as pulp) due to decay or injury. This procedure is usually performed by an endodontist or a general dentist.
It is an extremely important procedure as it prevents the pulp from being infected. An infected pulp may spread the infection throughout the root canal and may eventually cause an abscess. If the root canal treatment is not performed the infection will spread and consequentially cause the tooth to be removed.
What to Expect.
The infected pulp and any infection and abscess around it is removed or drained. Afterwards the root canal is cleaned then shaped in preparation for filling. Filling may be done permanently if the dentist is confident that all infection is gone or it can be done temporarily to allow for the infection and abscesses to subside first before a permanent filling is put. An additional filling may be put atop the root filling treatment to seal and restore the tooth. The procedure is usually done in two or more appointments. If by chance there is a recurrence of abscess or infection on the tooth the procedure can basically be repeated.
Does It Hurt?
During the actual treatment procedure a local anesthetic is applied thus it is a relatively painless ordeal. However, a little pain and or discomfort may be encountered 3 to 5 days following the procedure.
Benefits of the Root Canal Treatment.
- Root canal treatment prevents the chance of an inflamed or infected pulp spreading the infection thus causing severe abscess which may lead to the tooth being removed.
- With this treatment the tooth can be salvaged instead of being extracted and with that prevent the complications associated with tooth extraction.
Complications of the Root Canal Treatment.
- The infection may spread beyond the tooth being treated which means a prescription of antibiotics is added to the basic root canal treatment.
- Sometimes the pain accompanying the treatment may grow to be severe. If this happens one is to go back for check up or get a prescription of painkillers.
- The instruments used during the treatment procedure are usually extremely fragile and may break inside the root canal.
Essentially, these complications may delay the healing procedure or even prevent it entirely. Root-treated teeth should be cleaned just like the other natural teeth. Brushing and flossing should be carried out daily. Besides that frequent dentist checkups should be made after the treatment.
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