If your dentist has suggested you to go for root canal treatment and it is your first time then you may feel apprehensive about it. Herein we discuss the procedure that helps save a tooth and helps relieve the pain associated with decayed tooth. A tooth that is badly infected or decayed can be saved using root canal treatment wherein the nerve and pulp are removed.
The tooth consists of the outer enamel followed by a hard layer called dentin and a soft tissue inside called the pulp. The pulp consists of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues and during childhood helps formation of surrounding hard tissues. A fully developed tooth can survive even without the pulp as it continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it. Repeated dental procedures, decay or trauma, faulty crowns etc may cause the root pulp to get inflamed or infected. Pulp inflammation when left untreated may lead to pain and abscess (pus filled pocket at the end of the tooth root).
Root Canal treatment is the removal of the infected or inflamed tooth pulp and cleaning and sealing off the inside of the tooth. It saves many a tooth that might otherwise be lost.
What causes damage to the pulp?
Pulp or nerve damage may be caused due to
- Deep Decay
- Repeated Dental Procedures
- Faulty Crown
- Crack or chip on the tooth
Symptoms of infected pulp in a tooth
The following symptoms may indicate an infected pulp though at times no visible symptom is present
- Severe toothache
- Pain while chewing or applying pressure
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food items
- Discoloration of teeth
- Swelling/tenderness of gums
- Recurrent pimple on the gum
How root canal treatment is done
Root canal treatment may require a few visits to your dentist or endodontist. An endodontist specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases associated with the root pulp. During a root canal treatment the dead nerve or infected pulp is carefully removed. The inside of the tooth is then cleaned and disinfected. It is then filled and sealed with a rubber like material called gutta percha. It is then restored with crown for protection and functions much like a natural tooth.
Advantages of saving natural tooth
- Natural appearance
- Efficient biting and chewing
- Protects other teeth from wear and tear
The process is not painful and if taken care of can last a lifetime. In order to prevent further problems practicing good oral hygiene is very important because decay can still occur in treated tooth. To know more about the procedure discuss with our dentist and save your teeth before it is too late.