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Root Canal Treatment

What is Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic therapy, is a dental procedure aimed at saving a tooth that is severely infected or decayed. The procedure involves removing the damaged pulp from inside the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting the space, and then filling and sealing it to prevent further infection.

Why is Root Canal Treatment Necessary?

The innermost part of a tooth, known as the pulp, can become infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. If left untreated, the infection can spread, causing severe pain and potentially leading to an abscess. Root canal treatment eliminates the infection and preserves the natural tooth, which is always preferable to extraction.

Tooth Extraction

Signs You May Need a Root Canal

  1. Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure

  2. Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, even after the stimulus has been removed

  3. Discoloration of the tooth

  4. Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums

  5. A recurring pimple on the gums

The Root Canal Procedure: Step-by-Step

  1. Examination and X-Ray: The dentist will examine your tooth and take X-rays to determine the extent of the infection and the shape of the root canals.

  2. Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is administered to numb the area around the affected tooth, ensuring a pain-free procedure.

  3. Access Opening: A small opening is made on the surface of the tooth to access the infected pulp.

  4. Cleaning and Shaping: The dentist uses specialized instruments to remove the infected pulp and shape the root canals, preparing them for filling.

  5. Disinfection: The cleaned canals are disinfected to eliminate any remaining bacteria.

  6. Filling the Canals: The empty canals are filled with a biocompatible material, usually gutta-percha, and sealed with adhesive cement to prevent future infection.

  7. Temporary Filling: A temporary filling is placed on the tooth to close the opening.

  8. Final Restoration: In a subsequent visit, the temporary filling is removed, and a permanent crown or filling is placed to restore the tooth's function and appearance.

Case completed by Dr Foo You Han

Benefits of Root Canal Treatment

  1. Pain Relief: Eliminates the source of infection and pain.

  2. Natural Tooth Preservation: Keeps your natural tooth intact, preventing the need for extraction and potential tooth replacement procedures.

  3. Effective and Efficient: Modern techniques make root canals relatively quick and comfortable.

  4. Restored Function: With a proper restoration, your treated tooth can function like a natural tooth.

Post-Treatment Care

After a root canal, it's normal to experience some sensitivity for a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage this discomfort. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, to ensure the longevity of the treated tooth.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is a root canal painful?
    Most patients report that having a root canal is no more painful than getting a routine filling. The local anesthesia ensures you are comfortable during the procedure.

  2. How long does a root canal take?
    A root canal typically requires one or two visits, depending on the complexity of the case. Each visit lasts about 60 to 90 minutes.

  3. Can a root canal fail?
    While root canals have a high success rate, occasionally, a tooth may not heal as expected, or new infections can occur. In such cases, additional treatment or surgery may be needed.

In conclusion, Root canal treatment is a highly effective way to save a tooth that might otherwise need to be extracted. By addressing the infection and restoring the tooth, this procedure helps maintain your oral health and overall well-being. If you suspect you need a root canal or have any questions about the procedure, don't hesitate to contact our office for a consultation. Our experienced dental team is here to ensure you receive the best possible care.

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