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Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is among the procedures that are met with the most worry from emergency dentistry patients, due to its supposed complexity, pain and complicated nature.

The majority of individuals tend to view this course of action as the administrator’s last resort for saving a rotten tooth, which has resulted in some people believing it is the routine that even professionals avoid until they are left with no other option.

This, however, is simply not the case and root canal treatment is more often than not the best route for individuals who could leave themselves at risk of severe infection if they fail to act soon.

What is root canal treatment?

In short, it is the everyday term for the dental procedure known as endodontics, involving the removal of the inner pulp from the tooth through the root canal. The procedure is usually carried out because the pearly white has become infected and will prevent this issue spreading to other areas of the mouth and face.

Why does the pulp become infected?

When this part of the pearly white becomes infected, decay has normally worked its way through the protective layers of enamel and dentin found in this area. This occurs because plaque has been left to build up in the mouth for a long period of time.

The bacteria then reacts with sugars and carbohydrates in the diet to form acid, which proceeds to erode the enamel on the pearly whites to attack the surrounding gum tissue.

Individuals who fail to visit their dental professional regularly or do not maintain a high standard of oral hygiene often develop cavities on their teeth, which eventually rot through and leave the more sensitive pulp exposed.

What happens next?

The pearly whites can be left in real danger when the pulp falls victim to an infection.

If it is caught early enough, the ailment is simple to remove without the use of root canal treatment, while the hole can be filled by a dental professional and the teeth will be protected against decay once again.

However, in more severe cases, the pulp itself may need to be removed in a bid to prevent the infection from re-occurring in the future.

What are the signs of an infection?

The most obvious symptom of a dental infection is a deep, throbbing toothache that does not go away and is also sensitive to both hot and cold.

Usually, this discomfort occurs due to the extra fluid found in the pearly white that puts greater pressure on the nerve endings within the tooth.

If left untreated, infections in the pulp can worsen and develop into an abscess.

What does root canal treatment entail?

The primary aim of this course of action is to remove the pulp from inside the pearly white, while maintaining the structure.

Usually performed under anaesthetic, the treatment often requires a number of visits to the dentist, which is one of the reasons many patients approach the treatment with nerves and dread.

During the procedure, a dental professional will drill into the tooth to reveal the infection, then the pulp will be scraped away from the inside through the root canal. In many cases, this process may need to be repeated through a number of different areas to ensure the issue is removed completely.

Are there any complications?

Issues that arise as a result of root canal treatment are extremely rare, as the majority of patients who enter into the procedure expecting the worst find it does not feel much different from more straight-forward processes.

The tooth is cut off from its blood supply and essential nutrients during this course of action and so is dead when this has been carried out, but the structure remains, which allows individuals to smile with confidence.

Are there any alternatives?

Unfortunately, the only real alternative to root canal treatment is to have the infected tooth extracted. This is because the infection has reached such an advanced stage that patients may find other options have been closed off.

Those individuals who want to avoid any major dental work should look to catch any decay and cavities in the earliest stages before they can cause any serious damage, while members of the public are advised to visit their dentist regularly to identify any potential problems.

Is root canal treatment always successful?

Although it is rare for root canal treatment to fail, it can happen. Sometimes, the root system of a pearly white may be particularly complex, so some of the decay is accidentally left. Alternatively, this can occur because the tooth restoration is not properly cemented into place.

Plaque and bacteria could also be left to build up on the treated area in the same way due to a lack of care and a poor standard of oral hygiene.

How is the new tooth taken care of?

A tooth with no pulp is essentially a dead tooth, which means it does not need any additional care and attention. A newly-installed crown will help to protect the pearly white, so individuals should simply ensure harmful substances are not allowed to collect in the mouth.

Brushing teeth regularly with fluoride toothpaste and using dental floss on a daily basis can help to prevent a build-up of debris between the pearly whites, with both tasks ideally carried out twice every day.

Another important factor to consider when improving overall oral health is diet, as a lot of sugars and carbohydrates are found in sugary sweets and fizzy drinks. Therefore, individuals can limit the levels of tooth decay that can damage the teeth by consuming more nutritious items such as fruit and vegetables.

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