Deep beneath the outer enamel of your tooth is an area of soft tissue called pulp, which is the vital portion of the tooth . The pulp carries nerves, veins and arteries and nourishes healthy tooth tissue. Root canals are very small, thin divisions that branch off from the top of the pulp to the tip of the root. Depending on location in the mouth, a tooth has between one to four canals.
When a tooth becomes infected from deep decay, injury (due to trauma), or fracture can damage the pulp beyond repair. In the early stage, pulpitis occures i.e. inflammation of pulp. body tries to protect tooth from infection and more blood supply to that area. Because of more blood supply, pressure in tooth build up, pressure cannot be relieved from the inside of the tooth resulting in a toothache. Pain can be spontaneous, intermittent, throbbing, dull, felt when biting down, chewing, or when applying hot or cold food and liquids. Pain in the night or while sleeping is a classic feature.
If the infection is left untreated and if root canal treatment is not performed, pus builds up at the root tip and forms a “pus-pocket” called an abscess. An abscess can cause damage to the bone around the teeth. Without endodontic therapy (root canal), the tooth may have to be extracted, causing surrounding teeth to shift. The space left behind may require an implant or a bridge that can become costly and time consuming.
Usually, root canal treatment is a simple procedure with little or no discomfort. During the first visit, you will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. The pulp chamber is cleaned, reshaped and sterilized to prevent recontamination of the tooth. Additionally, medication may be inserted into the area to kill bacteria and prevent additional infection. Depending on condition, the tooth may then be sealed temporarily to guard against bacteria and food debris or the tooth may be left open to drain.
In your next visit, the temporary filling material is removed and a post is inserted to provide strength and reinforce the tooth. Once the post is placed the tooth is permanently restored. The tooth is then prepared for a crown and you will be given a temporary crown until the permanent returns form the laboratory. Approximately one week later, Final crown will be cemented over the tooth to strengthen its structure and improve appearance.
You are much better off retaining as many of your natural teeth as possible. When teeth are extracted and not replaced, adjacent teeth near the empty space begin to shift. Even teeth in the opposite jaw over grow. all these cause disturbance in alignment of teeth. This can affect your chewing ability, even allow plaque to build up more easily.
Do root canal treated teeth fracture?
No, a tooth with minimal destruction that is well restored does not fracture in normal usage. However, a grossly destroyed tooth may fracture if it is not protected by a crown.
Is there an age limit for R.C.T.?
A tooth that is completely developed can be treated by routine root canal treatment. However in young children the roots of the teeth are still developing. In such children it may be required to first undertake treatment to develop the root or close its wide open end and then complete the root canal treatment.
What is Post?
Posts are basically screws which are placed or cemented in to the root canals to inctease the strenght of the tooth.
What is Gutta percha?
Gutta percha is the coagulated jauice derived from specific species of some tropical trees. It has certain rubber like properties and innert nature. so used as permanent filling of root canals.
Can root canal treatment be performed in milk teeth?
Yes it is done on primary teeth when the decay involves the pulp.
How many visits does it take to complete root canal treatment?
Depending on the involved tooth and infection status it may take multiple visits or can be completed in a single sitting.
Root canals have an extremely high success rate (usually higher than 95%).