Tooth & Teeth: Root Canal TreatmentThis real photo, shows what the roots of the tooth look like under x-ray, following root canal treatment.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Root Canal Treatment is the drilling out of the soft tissue (pulp) of the tooth, including the tooth's root canals - all the tooth's root canals. The nerve of the tooth has normally been killed or severely compromised by decay or damage. The root canal treatment is the last attempt to save the severely compromised tooth from being extracted. Provided the root canal treatment is completely successful, with all germs removed from the root area, then the tooth may last for many years, even unto your death, if properly cared for.
The Procedure of the Root Canal Treatment:
First, you have likely gone in to the dentist complaining of pain in a tooth. The dentist checks your tooth and surrounding teeth and gum for disease or damage, takes an X-ray, then tells you it's not too good, you need root canal treatment and will need to have a crown fitted to your tooth at some point soon.
To get rid of the pain you agree to the root canal treatment. The dentist then starts the root canal treatment by injecting anesthetic around the tooth and the area should be completely numb before the drilling commences. A covering is then placed around the tooth to keep it a clean work area.
A hole is drilled through the tooth into the soft pulp and the soft pulp is then removed by scraping and suctioning.
Next, each root canal of the tooth is drilled out so that no trace of pulp or nerve is left.
When it is all properly cleaned out an antibiotic paste or lotion may be applied to the insides of the tooth to kill off any remaining germs.
A metal post may be inserted through the tooth into the jaw, to give the tooth added stability and strength.
The tooth is then filled in and capped with a filling.
Antibiotic tablets may also need to be taken if there was a bad infection present.
Further visits to the dentist may occur to prepare the tooth for crowning and or to make sure the tooth has healed well with the root canal treatment.
Common Side Effects and Complications of Root Canal Treatment:Having the nerve removed does have other potential problems, such as the tooth discoloring, for example, to the color black (rare). The discoloration following root canal treatment may be amenable to bleaching or being covered by a crown to achieve a better cosmetic result.
In children and teenagers with growing teeth, every effort should be made to keep the pulp and nerve in tact - avoid root canal treatment if possible - as the tooth will stop growing following root canal treatment.
Teeth that have had root canal treatment are at greater risk of fracturing and for this reason, a crown is frequently fitted to the tooth that has had root canal treatment.
Some teeth can not be saved by root canal treatment, even though the root canal treatment went well.
If pain persists for more than a few days following root canal treatment, your dentist may need to do more work on the tooth.
Sometimes one of the fine instruments may break in the tooth during root canal treatment. This may mean having to be referred to a specialist or having the instrument left in and being filled over.
Sometimes the tooth may feel different, if the sensation persists it may mean the filling is too high or that there is another problem. So, further work by a dentist may be required to repair the tooth further.
Top tooth x-ray picture copyright Donald Urquhart of www.hemorrhoidshemroids.com 2007
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