Few decades back, visiting a dentist with a diseased toothled to tooth extraction. Today, even a severely abscessed tooth can be preserved with endodontic treatment.
Endodontic treatment, commonly known as root canal treatment, is a dental procedure that involves removing the diseased pulp, cleaning and sealing the root canal to prevent further infections and covering the endodontically treated tooth with a crown.
Who Needs An Endodontic Or Root Canal Treatment
Treating the inside of the tooth is known as endodontics. Endodontic procedures are performed when the pulp becomes infected or inflamed. The pulp is the soft tissue present in the root canal, below the tooth enamel and dentin. It contains connective tissues, blood vessels and nerves.
While tooth decay is the most common cause for infection or inflammation of the pulp, injury to a tooth and even performing several dental procedures on the tooth may damage the pulp. Germs, entering the root canal through a crack in the tooth or a deep cavity, infect the pulp.
If left untreated, pus accumulates in the tip of the tooth, forming an abscess. Pulp infection or an abscessed tooth causes severe toothache. A severely damaged or diseased pulp cannot regenerate naturally, and it dies.
In addition to treating the abscess and restoring the damaged tooth, this dental procedure is also essential for preventing and treating injury to the jaw bones that can occur following a severe infection of the pulp.
What Does An Endodontic Treatment Or Root Canal Treatment Involve
In the endodontic procedure or root canal treatment, a dentist trained in endodontics makes an opening in the tooth through the crown to reach the root canal chamber. Through the opening, the infected pulp is removed. The root canal is then cleaned.
It is shaped and enlarged to accommodate the filling material. Medications are usually applied in the root canal to destroy germs that may remain in the pulp chamber and to prevent further infections.
The opening in the tooth is then sealed with a temporary filling material. In the final step of the endodontic procedure or root canal treatment, the temporary filling is removed and replaced with a permanent filling material.
A crown is then placed on the tooth. Porcelain crowns are widely used for tooth restoration. They blend with the natural dentures. It usually takes one to three visits to complete the procedure. A person undergoing root canal treatment rarely experiences any discomfort during the process.
Care For Endodontically Treated Tooth
Until the tooth restoration process is complete, you should avoid biting or chewing with the endodontically treated tooth. Once, the tooth is restored, there is no restriction in using the tooth for biting and chewing.
With proper oral care such as regular brushing and flossing and regular dental check-ups, the endodontically treated tooth can last a lifetime. However, additional endodontic treatments may be needed when the endodontically treated tooth is injured or the filling is cracked or broken, leading to a new infection.
While most teeth can be treated endodontically, the procedure might not be suitable for a severely fractured tooth and a tooth with insufficient bone support.