What Is a Root Canal?
Root canal is the canal that runs inside the root of the tooth. It contains the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth. Root canal is also procedure of removing of disease and injury of the tooth pulp (nerve inside the tooth), cleaning, filling and sealing the remaining space.
Root Canal Infection Danger
A root canal infection can be caused by several things, including tooth decay, dental injury and possibly also gum disease. Bacteria can invade your tooth through a loose filling, a cavity, or any other dental injury. Your pulp becomes infected as it is attacked by bacteria.
A root canal infection can become serious and spread to other areas of the face and skull. The swelling of your face is an indication that there is an infection associated with the tooth.The fact that you got the swelling after the root canal treatment was started indicates that the nerve of the tooth was non vital(dead) and therefore there is an infection already present but not clinically obvious.
It is not uncommon for teeth to die and get infected. Since the tooth is dead, blood can’t enter the tooth and bring protective immune cells to kill the infection, so the problem grows. In most cases the infection spreads to the surrounding bone. This causes increases the pressure and the tooth is pushed up out of its socket. The tooth feels high when biting.
A chronic root canal infection could potentially affect virtually all of your blood counts including your white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. These are not rules and often the counts may look completely normal. Blood counts are fairly non-specific, and should be interpreted with caution.
Root Canal Symptoms
Really millions of root canals have been done when in reality there was no need for root canal procedure. These symptoms will show you that you need root canal treatment:
- Toothache. Moderate to Severe lingering dental pain when drinking hot drinks or eating hot foods. This toothache may also be caused with cold liquids or foods.
- Pain when chewing or biting on a tooth that may also be sensitive to touch, tapping, or pressure and may be associated with slight swelling.
- Discoloration (a darkening) of the toot. It shows there are some problems with tooth canal.
- Waking up at night because of toothache. Dental pain is such so you most likely feel the need to take some form of pain killers to relieve it.
- Bubble (or swelling) on gum that looks like a pimple and when pressed in the region may release blood or pus.
- Tooth abscess – the precise symptom of root canal infection.
- Pain that starts at one tooth and then radiates or is referred to other regions of your upper or lower jaw, or head. A common example is a lower molar (back tooth) causing pain that refers to your ear on the same side so as to simulate an earache.
If you have some of symptoms above consult your dentist as soon as possible. Any problems with root canal won’t end without treatment.
Root Canal Therapy, Treatment (Endodontic Therapy)
Root canal therapy is procedure that gives many patients trembles when told about it. However, root canal procedure is not so bad. Root canal therapy is an instant pain reliever and the best dental treatment that saves original teeth. After root canal treatment tooth serves just as a healthy tooth.
Root Canal Procedure
Root canal procedure can be done in one or more visits, depending on the situation.
Your dentist will take an X-ray image of your tooth to check whether or not you definitely need root canal treatment. This can help to show how far any tooth decay has spread, if there is an abscessed tooth and how many root canals your tooth has.
An infected tooth will need several appointments to make sure that the infection in root is eliminated. Some teeth may be more difficult to treat because of the tooth position, they may have many bent root canals that are difficult to locate.
Your dentist will completely numb your tooth and the surrounding area.
Dentist will make an opening in your tooth and will remove any existing fillings or decay. Then your dentist removes unhealthy pulp with tiny, flexible files.The pulp is removed from your root canals through a small opening in the crown. Then root canals are cleaned and disinfected.
Medications may be put in the pulp chamber and root canals to help get rid of bacteria and prevent infection. The pulp chamber and root canals are filled and sealed. Than your dentist may decide to fill the cavity immediately if the root canal infection hasn’t caused you any serious problems.
After filling, a crown is fabricated to complete the rescue and restoration of the natural tooth. The procedure is generally spread over several visits to assure the infected pulp and associated bacteria have been adequately drained.
Root Canal Fails
A root canal can fail for several reasons. If your dentist failed to remove all of the infection from root canal or did not clean out all of the canals, the tooth can become infected again. Failed root canal treatments often involve infections that are difficult to destroy.
Pain After Root Canal. Post Operative Root Canal Pain
Usually, the most pain occurs in the time before the root canal procedure, when the nerve is exposed. In most cases, you will not experience any pain during the root canal procedure. There may be some tenderness for a day after root canal therapy, which can be treated with over-the-counter analgesics. In addition to anesthetic, you may receive sedation, such as nitrous oxide.
There are ways that the dentist can minimize this post-operative pain. One way is to reduce the tooth so that you don’t touch it when you clench your teeth together. A second aid is to take an anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, either at the beginning or the end of the endodontic treatment.
Consult your dentist, or other oral health specialist, to help control any post-operative root canal pain, swelling and discomfort.
Root Canal Alternatives
The only alternative to root canal treatment is the problematic tooth extraction. It is wise to consider all of the implications of losing a tooth before having it removed. The decision should not be made hastily or because the tooth is painful. If pain is present and the dentist thinks that the tooth can be saved, the discomfort can first be relieved and then the alternatives explored.
Painless root canal may sound like an unbelievable thing, but new techniques are making it a reality for many dental patients. One such technique involves avoiding the root canal altogether by sealing the exposed nerve with newly developed adhesives.
The procedure takes just one visit to the dentist and is much less expensive than a traditional root canal, but it is also controversial and not used as much as it should be.
Instead of hollowing out the tooth and removing the pulp containing the nerves as is done in a root canal, the exposed nerve area is cleaned thoroughly and sealed.
“We now have bonding technology that allows us to seal over the nerve using the same liquid plastic that contact lenses are made of,” tells New York dentist Michael Teitelbaum. “It hardens to form a hermetic seal that coats the nerve as well as the tooth.”
Although the procedure, known as direct pulp capping, has been around for many decades, the use of traditional adhesives resulted in long-term failure rates as high as 80%. Teitelbaum says he has done around 200 direct pulp caps using the newer sealant, with a success rate of 92%.
Oral pain specialist Keith Yount, DDS, says the procedure is just one of many new strategies now being tried to simplify the treatment of diseased teeth.
Root Canal Cost
Dentists typically base their root canal fees on the number of individual root canals found in the tooth. Root canal treatment for a front tooth may cost abut $360-$700, but root canal treatment for a back tooth (molars) may cost a “little” more: $600-$900. The difference is because front teeth usually have only one root canal and molars usually have three or more.
Low fee states like Iowa and Mississippi will have lower costs. Fees will be higher in California and New York. In larger cities, fees will be considerably higher than in rural areas.
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