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Root Canal Treatment – It’s Not as Painful as you Think!

Root Canal Treatment – It’s Not as Painful as you Think!

Have you been to the dentist and been told you need a root canal treatment? This common procedure has a bad reputation for being painful, but you need not worry. Before letting anxiety get the best of you, have a read and learn the facts. This procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and will eliminate the pain experienced from an infected tooth.

Why do I need a root canal treatment?

This treatment is commonly performed when an infected tooth pulp has been identified. This is typically noticed as a toothache and can be mildly to severely painful. By looking at the anatomy of the tooth, we can understand why the treatment is needed, and what is done.

The inner central aspect of the tooth is called the pulp chamber or pulp cavity. This includes pulp tissue, blood vessels, and nerves which keep a healthy tooth alive, as well as the root canal, which extends into the bone. Infections of the pulp can occur from tooth decay or trauma, and commonly extend into the root canal. The infection and inflammation here can cause severe pain, and, if left untreated, can result in abscess formation. It is a procedure that removes the infected portion of the tooth and prevents re-infection.

Here are some of the most common reasons why you might need a root canal:

1. Deep Cavity

If a cavity is left untreated, it can grow larger and eventually reach the inner pulp of the tooth. This pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, and when it becomes infected, it can cause pain and inflammation. A root canal is necessary to remove the infected pulp and clean the inside of the tooth to prevent further damage.

When bacteria reach the pulp, they trigger an infection. This infection can cause severe pain, sensitivity to hot and cold, and even swelling in the gums. If left unchecked, the infection can spread to surrounding tissues and even enter your bloodstream, posing a serious health risk.

A root canal treatment is the only way to save a tooth with a deep cavity and prevent further complications. During this procedure, the dentist removes the infected pulp, cleans the inside of the tooth, and fills the canals with a special material. This process seals the tooth and prevents further infection.

2. Cracked or Chipped Tooth

A cracked or chipped tooth can lead to inner pulp exposure, making it prone to infection. When the damage is severe, a root canal might be necessary to prevent further harm and save the tooth. It’s crucial to address such issues promptly to avoid potential infections or complications. Seeking professional dental care for evaluation and treatment is essential to protect the tooth and maintain oral health. Ignoring a cracked or chipped tooth may result in more severe problems, so early intervention is key to prevent complications.

3. Repeated Dental Procedures

When a tooth undergoes repeated dental procedures, it can become weaker over time. This can cause the pulp inside the tooth to become inflamed. In such situations, a root canal treatment becomes necessary to help reduce this inflammation and save the tooth from further damage. It’s highly important to visit a dentist if you experience these issues. Consulting a dental professional allows you to find the best solution and prevent any possible complications. Timely dental care is essential to tackle these problems before they worsen.

4. Trauma to the Tooth

When a tooth experiences trauma, like a strong blow to the face, it can lead to damage to the inner pulp. This kind of injury might not be visibly apparent but can cause significant harm to the tooth. The trauma can harm the pulp, which is crucial for the tooth’s health, making it essential to address promptly. If the pulp gets damaged due to trauma, a root canal might become necessary to prevent further complications. Seeking immediate dental attention after any facial injury or blow can help assess the extent of damage and determine if a root canal is needed. This proactive approach ensures that the tooth remains healthy and avoids potential future issues that could arise from untreated trauma.

5. Signs and Symptoms

Here are some additional signs and symptoms that may indicate you need a root canal:

  • Severe toothache, especially when biting or chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Swelling or tenderness in the gums
  • A dark or discolored tooth
  • A pimple on the gums near the tooth

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible to determine if a root canal is necessary. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to save the tooth and prevent further complications.

What happens during a root canal treatment?

The initial consultation with the dentist will identify the affected tooth. Often x-rays are taken for planning purposes and to establish the extent of infection. Local anaesthetic is injected around the affected tooth. This can take several minutes to achieve appropriate levels of anaesthesia, with the central portion taking longer to become numb than the outer portions. The dentist will not commence work until the area is adequately numb and you are comfortable. You may feel pressure, but not pain. A dental dam is placed in your mouth. This is a thin barrier that isolates the affected tooth from the rest of your mouth while the dentist is performing the procedure.

A hole is drilled in the surface of your tooth to allow access to the infected pulp chamber and root canal. The infected pulp is removed using specialised instruments, and the cleared canal is disinfected. It is this inflamed pulp that causes pain, and by removing it, you will be clear from pain and toothache. Remember, this is done while the tooth is numb so you will be comfortable for the duration of the procedure.

After disinfection, the canal is filled with specialised material to prevent re-infection and leave you with a healthy tooth, free of infection and pain. The tooth may feel uncomfortable for a couple of days after, but this quickly goes away, and is much more comfortable than the toothache that needed the root canal treatment in the first place!

What are the key benefits and outcomes of undergoing a root canal procedure to save a damaged tooth?

A root canal procedure is a reliable way to save a tooth that has been damaged due to infection, injury, or decay. Despite common worries, it’s a routine process with minimal discomfort, thanks to modern techniques and numbing agents. This treatment aims to remove infection, alleviate pain, and restore the tooth’s function. After a root canal, the tooth is often capped with a crown or filling to strengthen and protect it. Taking care of the treated tooth by practicing good oral hygiene ensures its longevity and functionality. Many people find that a tooth treated with a root canal lasts for a lifetime without any issues, showcasing the effectiveness and success of this procedure in preserving natural teeth.

Remember, there is no need to worry about a root canal treatment. The procedure is simple and commonly performed. Balmain Dentist can answer all your questions regarding the procedure.