Root canal therapy is a treatment needed when a decay or trauma renders the tooth nerve badly damaged. With this dental procedure you must understand the fact that its complexity requires the client’s patience, strength and courage, trust in the dentist and enough understanding with regard to this dental service. Here is everything you need to know about root canals.
What is a root canal? It is the space inside the tooth that accommodates blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues. This space or channel originates from the pulp chamber travelling from the root through its upper surface or apex.
What could happen inside the canal? If there is damage to the pulp or nerve tissue, it collapses giving rise to bacterial proliferation within the chamber. Tooth infection with abscess results and spreads making it hard for the blood to reach the tissues. Pain and discomfort develops in your tooth which signals nerve damage, with symptoms that include toothache and sensitivity when exposed to hot or cold sensation, facial swelling, darkened teeth, inflamed gums, bone loss around the root’s tip and drainage problems.
How is a root canal procedure done? Infection of the pulp tissue or nerve trauma necessitates root canal therapy. The principle is to clean out the infected tooth pulp tissue and then the canal is filled to seal it. The process starts by determining if you have an infected or abscessed tooth. If this is the case, you will be started on an antibiotic before doing root canal. During the actual procedure, you will be given local anesthesia to numb the tooth. After taking an x-ray of your tooth, the dentist will disinfect your mouth and begin drilling through the tooth into the pulp chamber where the tooth nerve is located. All the nerves from the tooth and any infected tissue will then be removed by using tiny files. The completely cleaned tooth will have to be dried totally before placing a rubber material called gutta percha to seal the inside of the tooth. A temporary or permanent filling will close the tooth.
Post-root canal management. When the effects of the local anesthesia have waned, you will be prescribed a pain medication. You may also be given antibiotics to avoid infection. For the swelling, you may apply ice to the area. Most patients go back to their normal routine the next day. Go back to the dentist if you have pain that lasts more than 24 hours.
Root canal versus extraction. Tooth extraction may be less complicated and cheaper than the rehabilitation process, nevertheless it can be a lot more expensive in the long run. An absent tooth can make the teeth next to the gap glide into the vacant space which will later on require you to resort to having an expensive bridge or denture.
How much is a root canal treatment? The cost of the therapy depends upon the number of root canals needed to be treated. A separate fee is needed for tooth restoration. You can always approach your dentist who would be glad to discuss the dental management costs with you.