Root Canal Therapy is also well-known as Endodontic Therapy. This is a process of removing an infection from inside a tooth. As a result, it also protects teeth from future infections.
However, a Root Canal is a treatment used to repair a tooth that is infected badly. It is the hollow section of the tooth that contains blood vessels, nerve tissue, and other cells also known as the pulp. As a result, this pulp becomes irritated and gets infected due to the deep decay. Similarly, large fillings, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, a chip, or crack in the tooth.
Therefore, the pulp is inside the crown and the root. Hence this pulp nourishes the tooth and provides moisture to the surrounding area. So, during the Root Canal, the nerve and the pulp of the tooth are removed and cleaned. Because without the treatment the tissue around the tooth will become affected. Hence, in the majority cases, an endodontist performs the Root Canal under Local Anaesthesia.
What is the need of Root Canal?
When the pulp gets damaged, it breaks down and there exists the growth of bacteria. As a result, this bacteria can cause infection or abscessed tooth. Removing the infected pulp is the best way to preserve the structure of the tooth. Because infection in the root canal can also cause
- Loss of bone around the tip of the root (Bone loss, some times peri apical lesions or cysts)
- The occurrence of a hole through the side of the tooth with drainage problem into the gums or through the cheek into the skin. And this is also known as SINUS TRACT.
- The spread of swelling to the areas like face, neck or, head, that leads to Space Infections.
Therefore, some of the common causes of damage to the pulp are
- A crack or chip in the tooth
- An untreated cavity that can cause deep decay
- An injury to the tooth (a sudden hit in the mouth can injure a tooth
- Repeated dental procedure on a tooth
Signs for the need of Root Canal
- Pain while chewing or biting
- If the pulp becomes injured and cannot repair itself
- Cracked or chipped tooth and a loose filling
- When bacteria penetrate through the root openings, it can cause infection in the bone, this can lead to Root Canal therapy.
- Deep decay or darkened gums
- The ligaments around the tooth will lead to swelling and the tooth will become loose. An infection can weaken the tooth
How is a Root Canal Performed?
- Initially, your dentist will take an X-Ray to see the shape of the root canals and let you know if there are any signs of infection in the surrounding areas. Hence, the dentist will place a small amount of numbing medication
- (Local Anaesthesia) near the affected area.
- Hence, to keep the area dry during the treatment, your endodontist will place a sheet of rubber around the tooth.
- Later, the pulp and bacterial are removed from the tooth. Similarly, the area is cleaned with the root canal files.
- Once the tooth is cleaned, it is sealed. If there is an infection, your dentist will place the medication (Intracanal medicament) inside the tooth to clear it.
- Consequently, this procedure will end up filling the small opening on the top of the tooth with a soft temporary material. Consequently, later filled by permanent cement followed by a crown.
- It is impossible to remove the damaged pulp or dead tissue completely. Because the tooth structure contains the microtubules through which infections travel.
- Of Course, the root canal removes the infection and replaces it with filling material. But, during the procedure, there are plenty of tiny side canals that a dentist cannot touch. Hence, these die and rot during the removal of the tooth root.
- Since it is impossible to remove the complete infection, minute part of the infection may remain inside the tooth, leading to the growth of bacteria on dead tissue. Consequently, this bacteria spreads and leaks out the rest of the body. In very rare cases this type of re-infection may happen.
However, after the procedure, some patients may suffer from chronic diseases. Even after the procedure, your dentist prescribes you with antibiotics to help with the infections.