What is Root Canal

  A root canal is the space within the root of a tooth. It is part of a naturally occurring space within a tooth that consists of the pulp chamber (within the coronal part of the tooth), the main canal(s), and more intricate anatomical branches that may connect the root canals to each other or to the surface of the root.
The smaller branches, referred to as accessory canals, are most frequently found near the root end (apex) but may be encountered anywhere along the root length. There may be one or two main canals within each root. Some teeth have more variable internal anatomy than others. This space is filled with a highly vascularised, loose connective tissue, the dental pulp.
The dental pulp is the tissue of which the dentin portion of the tooth is composed. The formation of secondary teeth (adult teeth) is completed by 1-2 years after eruption into the mouth. Once the tooth has reached its final size and shape, the dental pulp's original function ceases for all practical purposes.  It takes on a secondary role as a sensory organ.
Root canal is also a colloquial term for a dental operation, endodontic therapy, wherein the pulp is cleaned out, the space disinfected and then filled.

Tooth structure
At the centre of a tooth is a hollow area that houses soft tissue, known as pulp or nerve. This hollow area contains a relatively wide space in the coronal portion of the tooth called the pulp chamber. This chamber is connected to the tip of the root via narrow canal(s); hence, the term "root canal". Human teeth normally have one to four canals, with teeth toward the back of the mouth having more. These canals run through the centre of the roots like pencil lead through the length of a pencil. The pulp receives nutrition through the blood vessels and nerves carry signals back to the brain to warn of adverse events and circumstances.
For many people who experience tooth pain or discomfort, a root canal may be recommended, and a qualified dentist or more preferably an endodontist (root canal therapy specialist) should be consulted in a timely manner.
Root Canal Treatment

What is a root canal treatment?
Our participating dentists use a root canal procedure to save the damaged or dead pulp in the root canal of the tooth by cleaning out the diseased pulp and reshaping the canal. The soft tissue around the tooth contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. Years ago, teeth with diseased or injured pulps were removed. Today, root canal treatment has given our participating dentists a safe way of saving teeth.

Why do I need root canal treatment?
The simple answer is because your tooth will not heal by itself. The infection will spread without treatment. The bone around the tooth will begin to degenerate and the tooth may fall out. Pain usually  worsens until you are forced to seek emergency dental attention. The only alternative is usually extraction of the tooth which can cause surrounding teeth to shift crookedly resulting in a bad bite. Though an extraction is cheaper, the space left behind will require an implant or a bridge, which can be more expensive than root canal treatment. If you have the choice, it's always best to keep your original teeth.

What causes pulp nerve damage?
There are two common causes of pulp nerve damage. Physical irritation is generally brought on by aggressive tooth decay reaching down to the nerve or through deep fillings which allows harmful bacteria to reach the nerve resulting in infection and decay. Receiving a blow to a tooth can also cause damage to sensitive nerve tissue within the tooth.
What are the symptoms of pulp nerve damage?
There are several common symptoms of pulp nerve damage. Each individual may experience the symptoms differently. These symptoms may include:
  • pain in the tooth when biting down
  • tooth pain while chewing
  • oversensitivity of the teeth with hot or cold drinks
  • facial swelling
The symptoms of pulp nerve damage may resemble other oral health conditions. You should consult a participating dentist for a diagnosis.

What are the possible complications?
If the infection is left untreated, complications could include:
  • Spreading infection – once the pulp becomes infected, it loses its ability to fight the spread of the infection. If bacteria find their way into the pulp chamber, the bacteria will multiply unchecked. This can cause a severe infection or an endodontic abscess (a pocket or ‘blister’ of pus).
  • Localised bone loss – the infection may spread around the ends of the infected root canal and cause bone loss in the jaw.
  • Loss of tooth – the tooth may have to be removed, which interferes with the person’s ability to bite and chew. Tooth replacements such as dentures, bridges and dental implants may not be possible or may not be tolerated. They may be more costly and involve other issues that also need to be considered.

Why do I feel pain?
Pulp can die when it becomes infected due to a deep cavity or fracture as it allows bacteria to seep in. Pulp can also die because of injury due to trauma. Damaged or dead pulp causes increased blood flow  and cellular activity and pressure cannot be relieved from inside the tooth. Pain in the tooth is commonly felt when biting down, chewing on it and applying hot or cold foods and drinks.

What is the ‘dental pulp’?
The pulp is the soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. It lies within the tooth and extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the root in the bone of the jaws.

What happens if the pulp gets injured?
The pulp dies when it is diseased or injured and can't repair itself. The most common cause of pulp death is a cracked Tooth or a deep cavity. Both of these problems can let bacteria enter the pulp. Germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. Pus builds up at the root tip in the jawbone when not treated and forms a "pus-pocket" called an abscess. An abscess can cause damage to the bone around the teeth.

What does treatment involve?
Treatment often involves from one to three visits to our participating dentists. A dentist or endodontist will remove the diseased pulp during the treatment. The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are then cleaned and sealed.
Here's how your tooth is saved through treatment:
  1. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth.
  2. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
  3. The pulp is then removed. The root canal(s) is cleaned and shaped to a form that can be filled.
  4. The pulp is removed and the root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped.
  5. Medications may be put in the pulp chamber and root canal(s) to help get rid of bacteria and prevent infection.
  6. A temporary filling will be placed in the crown opening to protect the tooth between dental visit.  Your dentist may leave the tooth open for a few days to drain. You might also be given medicine to help control infection that may have spread beyond the tooth.
  7. The pulp chamber and root canals are filled and sealed.
  8. The temporary filling is removed and the pulp chamber and root canal(s) are cleaned and filled.
  9. The final step usually involves a gold or porcelain crown placed over the tooth. An endodontist performing the treatment will recommend that you return to your dentist for this final step.
  10. The crown of the tooth is then restored.
What is an “endodontist”?
An endodontist is a dentist with special training in diagnosing and treating problems associated with the inside of the tooth.  They do only endodontic procedures in their practices because they are specialists. They perform routine as well as difficult and very complex endodontic procedures including re-treatment of previous root canals that have not healed completely and endodontic surgery. Endodontists are also experienced at finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnose.

How long will the restored tooth last?
Your restored tooth could last a lifetime assuming you continue to care for your teeth and gums. Regular checkups will be necessary. Your tooth will remain healthy as long as the root(s) of a treated tooth are nourished by the tissues around it.

Are there any risks?
If root canal therapy is suggested by a dentist then is important to have a tooth treated as soon as possible.  An infection that is allowed to continue is likely to result in the formation of an abscess at the root of the tooth. This will lead to destruction of the underlying bone tissue and may make it impossible to save the tooth. The infection can also spread to adjacent teeth and could result in blood poisoning, fever, swelling in the face and neck and a general ill feeling.
More than 95 percent of root canal treatments are successful. Sometimes a case needs to be redone due to diseased canal offshoots that went undetected or the fracturing of a canal filing instrument used. This rarely occurs. A root canal therapy that has not been completed correctly is marked by a return of pain.

What happens after treatment?
Natural tissue inflammation may cause discomfort for a few days. This can be controlled by an over-the-counter analgesic. A follow-up exam will be to monitor tissue healing. From this point on, brush and floss regularly, avoid chewing hard foods on the treated tooth, and see your dentist regularly.

What is Root Canal What is Root Canal Reviewed by Sandy on 7:15 PM Rating: 5

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