Root canal treatment ( endodontic treatment) removes infected or damaged tissue from the root of the affected tooth, cleans the canals in the root of the tooth, removes existing bacteria, disinfects the canal walls with chemicals, and fills them with fillings.
If root canal treatment isn’t performed, the infection spreads rapidly, and as a result, tooth extraction may be required.
Complaints such as toothache, tenderness, and night pain are often signs of the need for root canal treatment.
How are Teeth Infected?
Teeth become infected when the pulp tissue (nerves and vessels) inside the tooth is damaged. Deep cavities, cracks or broken teeth, and multiple fillings are the most common causes of dental pulp injury. Severe periodontal disease can also be another cause.
These conditions can allow microbes to enter the pulp chamber, leading to infection and disease. In this case, the pulp cannot repair itself and dies after a while. If left untreated, the pus produced by the infection eventually collects at the tip of the root and causes a condition called an abscess in the jawbone. Then abscesses can damage the bone around the tooth.
When is Root Canal Treatment Required?
Root canal treatment can save a damaged or badly infected tooth. Your teeth may have become infected and damaged due to repeated dental procedures, cavities, wear and tear, gum disease, cracked fillings, or trauma.
When your dental pulp is damaged, bacteria begin to multiply rapidly inside your tooth. This can lead to an infection or abscess.
The most crucial goal of this treatment is to save your natural tooth. Losing your teeth can also cause other problems in your mouth. Moreover, you will need more complex dental procedures to replace your lost tooth with an artificial tooth. That’s why root canal treatment is the most effective way to save a tooth.
However, there are many situations where this treatment may be necessary. Keeping these in mind, it is beneficial to ask the following questions:
- Do you have ongoing pain that requires regular painkillers?
- Do you have swollen teeth, with or without pain?
- Do you feel pain when you consume hot drinks or food, and does the pain decrease when you contact the cold?
All these situations indicate that damage to a tooth can make treatment necessary.
How is Root Canal Treatment Done?
You may need to come to our clinic once or twice for root canal treatment. During the treatment, your problematic dental pulp is removed, the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned. The following steps will help you understand the treatment more clearly:
At this stage, we will ask you for an x-ray and evaluate the condition of the infection in your mouth and whether your tooth can be saved with root canal treatment without extraction.
In this procedure step, we will numb your tooth and surrounding gum tissue. In addition, this step will prevent possible pain during the treatment.
Access to the inner structure of the tooth, extraction, sonic washing, shaping, and filling
At this stage, a tiny cavity (hole) is opened on the tooth surface to access the inner structure of your tooth.
Root canals are accessed through the open hole. Infected pulp and nerve tissue are removed with particular manual canal files. The inside of the root canals is washed with unique solutions and sonic washing devices, and the infected tissues and bacteria are removed. Afterward, the root canals are shaped with advanced technology rotary instruments. After these processes, it is aimed to seal the root canals tightly from the root to the crown by filling them with special bioceramic-based or resin-based canal sealers. After the infection is eliminated, it is closed with a temporary or permanent filler.
- The final step
This last stage of the procedure is generally applying a restorative treatment such as a permanent filler, overlay, crown, or porcelain onlay.
Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?
In general, this procedure isn’t painful. Dental techniques have developed so much in recent years that this treatment has become an easy routine. After the treatment, your teeth may be slightly sore for a while. In such a case, it will be sufficient to avoid chewing anything in the treated area and take the analgesics we recommend. You should not forget that the mild pain after root canal treatment is compensated mainly by the fact that the natural tooth is preserved.
After a good root canal treatment, the teeth can last a lifetime. Another factor affecting the longevity of teeth is regular oral and dental care and control visits.
You should not eat or drink anything until the effect of the anesthetic has completely worn off. You may unwittingly bite your lip or tongue while the impact of the anesthetic continues. Also, you should not consume hard foods while the procedure is in progress.
In some cases, root canal treatment is completed in a single session. However, the presence of abscesses may increase the number of sessions.
Depending on your dental condition, it is decided whether you will use antibiotics or not. However, if there is no infection or hypersensitivity, you will not need to take antibiotics.