A root canal treatment or endodontic treatment is performed in case of a severe pulp infection that extends to the tooth roots. Dental pulp infections result from trauma, cavities, cracks, and fractures. During the root canal procedure, your dentist will drill an access hole to reach the infected pulp and remove the damaged and diseased tissues. After the pulp chamber is free from infections, your dentist will close the access hole with an inert filling and restore the tooth with a dental crown. A root canal treatment provides you with the following benefits:
- Halts abscess formation near the infected tooth.
- Root canal treatments help you save your natural tooth, thereby, preserving the underlying bone structure.
- A root canal treatment alleviates the persistent pain you have been experiencing.
- The root canals are flushed using disinfectants to remove the last trace of bacteria and prevent the infection from spreading.
What are the symptoms that indicate you might need a root canal treatment?
- Persistent tooth pain
Pulp infections damage the nerves and connective tissues present inside the pulp chamber. This leads to excruciating pain and sensitivity, which worsens when you touch the infected tooth. If the pain is associated with a single tooth, you may require a root canal treatment.
- Pain while chewing and biting
If you are experiencing tooth pain that worsens while chewing and biting, you may require a root canal treatment.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages
Tooth decays and infections that damage the nerves and tissues present in the pulp chamber are other obvious signs that you may need a root canal treatment. Infection of the pulp chamber causes sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. But, the sensitivity should be limited to one single tooth and not prevalent in the entire mouth.
- Gum tenderness and inflammation
The infection travels from the pulp chamber to the neighboring gum tissues and makes them red, swollen, and tender. Soon, the gum itself becomes infected and is covered with abscess pockets and canker sores. You may also experience bleeding gums while brushing and flossing.
- Darkened and discolored teeth
Discoloration and darkening of teeth is yet another sign of extreme tooth decay or infection. If you observe brown spots on your teeth, consult your dentist to get to the root of the problem.
- Swollen lymph nodes
Like any other infection, pulp-infection also causes swelling of your lymph nodes. If you believe you have an infected tooth, examine the lymph nodes on your neck to see if they are swollen and painful.
- Presence of chipped, cracked, and fractured teeth
Chips, cracks, and fractures from dental trauma or injury to the mouth lead to a tooth infection. They often create a pathway for bacteria, which release toxins and infect the nerves and tissues present in it. If you have chipped, cracked and fractured teeth, look out for infections.
- No symptoms at all
Most cases show some signs of infections, however, some infected teeth show no symptom at all. Because of this, it is extremely important to have regular dental checkups.
How is a root canal treatment performed?
Below is a step-by-step guide to explain the procedure of dental implant placement.
- Step 1
The infected tooth and the surrounding region are numbed using local anesthesia to avoid discomfort and pain.
- Step 2
A rubber dam is used to isolate the infected tooth from the rest of the mouth. A rubber or dental dam allows the treatment to be performed in a sterile environment, which is free from bacteria.
- Step 3
An access hole is drilled through the enamel into the pulp chamber, where the nerves and tissues are present.
- Step 4
The infected and damaged nerves and tissues are removed using fine endodontic instruments.
- Step 5
The root canals are flushed with disinfectants and antibacterial solutions to remove any trace of bacteria.
- Step 6
The root canals are then prepared to receive the filling material. They are shaped and expanded to make room for fillings and sealers. The canals are washed and cleaned thoroughly before sealing them to remove debris.
- Step 7
Root canals are then filled with an inert filling known as Gutta-percha. Pluggers are used for condensing the filling material into the root canals, which seals them.
- Step 8
A temporary or permanent filling is then used to close the access hole. If your tooth has lost a lot of its structure to the decay or infection, your dentist may also place a post in the canals to restore the structure.
- Step 9
If your dentist feels that the tooth needs to be restored using a crown or bridge, a custom-made crown will be placed over your tooth to restore it fully. The crown also protects the treated tooth from future contamination.
At Murray Dental Care of Cupertino, our entire team of dentists and hygienists is committed to providing supreme quality dental care to our patients and their families. If you are inclined towards taking the first steps to improve your dental health and hygiene, call us at (408) 253-5277 to book an appointment.