A root canal is a procedure that can both relieve pain and prevent tooth loss, and nowadays, root canals are a common and painless procedure. If your tooth becomes injured or infected, bacteria can build up the inside of the tooth where the pulp and nerves reside. Left untreated, pain and sensitivity may become severe,…
Emergency Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is done to salvage an infected or severely decayed tooth. The procedure is often necessary when a tooth's nerve becomes infected or the pulp becomes destroyed. The dentist will remove the nerve and pulp before cleaning and sealing the tooth’s core during a root canal procedure.
The need for a root canal treatment
A root canal treatment is performed for two primary reasons. The first is a case where an infection (caused by bacteria) eats away at the tooth's dentin and enamel until the pulp is affected. Antibiotics hardly have any impact on bacteria that have invaded a tooth. They only help prevent more bacteria from spreading beyond the canal and into the bone.
Another reason that a patient might need an emergency root canal is severe pulp damage that is beyond repair. A fracture can damage the tooth pulp. Even if there is no apparent immediate damage, a less severe blow (trauma) to the teeth can cause damage. Due to bleeding inside the pulp, the tooth may discolor eventually.
A pulp infection may not immediately cause pain, but it can lead to severe discomfort and swelling if not treated immediately. The following are indications that a root canal treatment is needed:
- Pain when biting or chewing with the tooth
- Persistent sensitivity to heat and cold
- Swelling around the tooth
- Tooth fracture
- Tooth discoloration
The root canal procedure
The dental professional will start the root canal treatment with the removal of damaged parts of the tooth. Since they usually administer a local anesthetic, the root canal operation is no more unpleasant than a dental filling. After opening the pulp chamber, more anesthesia can be precisely administered into the tooth's nerve to eliminate any additional discomfort.
The tissue within the pulp chamber is cleaned out, and any excess nerve tissue from the root canals is removed. The dentist will scrape out the root canal and prepare the pulp chamber to be filled after cleaning out the tooth pulp tissue. The inside of the tooth is disinfected afterward. The bacteria must be eliminated to treat the root canal infection fully.
After the root canals have been prepared, the dentist will place a rubber-like material called gutta-percha inside. Cotton is used to fill the pulp chamber, and the opening is shut off with a temporary filler. The dentist will remove the temporary filling at the next appointment, fill the pulp chamber, and then restore the tooth with a filling or crown. The dentist will also check for issues from the root canal operation, like infections, during this visit.
It is preferable to preserve as many of your natural teeth as possible, so tooth extraction is not generally recommended if root canal treatment is an option. After the procedure, the inflammatory tissue around the tooth will, in most situations, recover on its own. The success rate of root canal therapy is high. A tooth can live for up to 10 years after root canal treatment in most cases.
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