Root canal treatment, also known as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy is a type of dental treatment in which the infected pulp of a tooth is eliminated, and the tooth's hollow roots are re-filled.
The tooth's root is usually made up of nerve tissue, blood vessels, and connective tissue. It's very susceptible to infection if a cavity is large enough to reach it. If a large cavity forms, root canal treatment may be the only way to save the tooth from extraction.
Why should the pulp be removed? When the tooth's pulp is damaged or infected due to tooth decay, chips or cracks in the tooth or trauma, bacteria begin to multiply very fast in the pulp chamber. This can lead to an abscess in the tooth itself – a pocket full of pus that usually appears at the end of the root. Dental pulp infections can also lead to more problems, including:
● Bone loss at the root of the tooth
● Swelling around the tooth, neck, face and even head
● Pus drainage into the gums or cheek
A root canal treatment procedure can help patients avoid these problems altogether, and in most cases, the tooth can be saved and further restored using other techniques (such as a crown or bridge). The tooth itself will maintain its full functionality after root canal treatment.
Root canal treatment or root canal therapy is recommended for patients with a damaged or infected tooth pulp. Using this type of endodontic therapy is better than simply extracting the tooth since the patient's natural teeth can be used as a foundation for other types of dental restoration (a dental crown or a bridge).
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Root canal treatment or root canal therapy is not recommended in cases where the tooth is far too damaged for the treatment to be effective. In some cases, extraction may be necessary.
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Patients will be required to provide the dentist with X-rays, before traveling abroad for endodontic therapy. The dentist will inspect them and prepare a treatment plan based on these x-rays.
What does root canal treatment involve in most patients? The average root canal treatment procedure starts with the dentist administering local anesthesia around the tooth affected the tooth. Once the anesthesia kicks in and the area around the tooth is numb, the dentist will start covering the tooth with a rubber dam in order to keep the area dry and saliva-free during the root canal procedure. This is done in order to prevent potential infections as well.
The dentist will then proceed by drilling a small hole at the top of the tooth in order to reach the pulp chamber and canals. Dentistry files are then used to remove the dental pulp in its entirety. In some cases, the pulp chamber and the canals are widened in order to make space for canal fillings – a special type of fillings used for this procedure. After all of the infected pulp tissue is successfully removed from the tooth, the canals and pulp chamber are filled with a special endodontic therapy filling in order to keep the tooth strong.
Endodontic therapy is usually time-consuming due to the fact that the success of this procedure rests on the dentist being able to remove all infected pulp tissue. The procedure takes between three and four hours, divided into several appointments at the dentist.
Since it is a time-consuming procedure, the average cost of root canal treatment varies greatly between different countries, with Turkey, Mexico and Hungary being prime destinations for patients. Root canal treatment pain is almost non-existent, with most patients feeling slight discomfort – this makes the medical trip much more enjoyable for patients.
The endodontic therapy will relieve the patient from any pain which might have been present before the procedure. During the recovery period, patients need to avoid chewing on the tooth before a permanent filling or crown is placed.
Root canal treatment risks and complications can include one or more of the following:
Root canal treatment side effects can include one or more of the following: ● Increase in sensitivity to hot or cold ● Soreness around the tooth ● Discomfort
Root canal treatment reviews set the average treatment success rate at 95%.
Patients undergoing a root canal treatment procedure have some options available to them, depending on the state of the treated tooth. Some patients will opt for dental fillings, while in some cases a crown may be necessary – if the remaining tooth structure is too weak and likely to crack. Generally speaking, if all the steps for a root canal treatment are taken, patients can opt for a filling which can last up to 7 years, while dental crowns can last a lifetime if properly cared for..
– Is root canal treatment painful?
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding root canal treatments is the fact that it's a very painful procedure. This is not true, and the procedure is not painful at all. Local anaesthesia is administered carefully in the surrounding gum tissue, from all sides of the affected tooth. By the time the doctor will begin the procedure, the area will be numb and the patient will only feel slight discomfort associated with any dentist visit.
– Are there any alternatives to root canal treatment?
Yes, having the tooth removed is an alternative. After it is removed, a dental implant or dental bridge can be used to fill the gap.
– If I am not feeling any pain, do I still need root canal treatment?
It depends on the X-rays. Sometimes the pulp too decayed for the patient to feel any pain, but it can still lead to abscesses and other problems.