Having your dentist tell you that you need a root canal, can be a daunting affair. This means that the pulp or soft tissue inside a tooth has been damaged by bacterial infection. A root canal involves removing the damaged pulp, cleaning the infection and filling in the emptied space. Not every tooth infection requires a root canal and hence it is essential to know the indication of a root canal.
Discomfort ranging from a dull ache to a sharp pain can be a sign that you need root canal treatment. This type of pain is usually characterized by throbbing and may change as you switch positions. It is usually triggered by chewing, applying pressure on the tooth or eating something cold or hot. In some cases, the patient may not be able to indicate the exact tooth that is hurting but can only identify the painful area.
Swelling that indicates the need of root canal treatment can range from being slightly red and inflamed to pronounced lumps on the gums. In some extreme cases, this swelling may extend out of the gums into the face and neck region. Sometimes, a pus filled boil with a pimple like head may also form on the gums. If this head bursts, the patient may notice a foul taste in the mouth. This swelling can come and go as the tooth decay deteriorates and may or may not be accompanied by pain. Teeth may also feel like they have been pushed out of their sockets and are taller than usual.
Discolouring of teeth can be a sign of internal tooth damage. This is especially noted if the teeth take on a dark yellow, grey or blackish tint. Tooth discolouration is fairly common in cases where the tooth has undergone trauma such as an accident etc.
Exposure of the dental nerves
At times during regular dental work, the nerves in the tooth may be exposed. This indicates an exposure of pulp tissue and can trigger pulp degeneration if left untreated.
However, all of the above symptoms can be symptoms of other types of dental problems as well and do not necessarily individually indicate the need for a root canal. Only a dentist can properly diagnose a need for root canal treatment after a physical examination and testing.
When a small cavity isn't treated in time, the tooth may get so badly decayed that normal filling cannot solve the problem. In such cases, your dentist will probably advise you to have a root canal. When performing a root canal, the dentist will remove the nerves and pulp within the tooth, clean the inside of the tooth and seal it. After this procedure your tooth will not sense anything and should be pain free. However in some cases, you may still experience pain after a root canal. There are four main causes of this pain.
Swelling of ligament around the tooth
One of the signs that you need a root canal is swelling of the gums. Even after the nerves and pulp within the tooth are removed, the ligaments around the infected tooth may still be swollen. This can take some time before the tissue is normal again. In most cases this is the cause for pain after a root canal procedure.
Part of the root canal procedure is to clean the insides of the tooth. Here the dentist must be very careful to not go beyond the tooth. In some cases the file used to clean the tooth may go beyond the root and damage the tissue there. Another possibility is that the sealant used to fill the tooth may go beyond the root thus aggravating the tissue. This can take some time to heal and can cause pain.
After the tooth has been cleaned, the dentist fills the tooth with a sealant. If excessive sealant is filled in the tooth, it may become taller than the surrounding teeth. This makes you hit that tooth first when you close your jaw and puts extra pressure on it resulting in soreness and pain. Your dentists will need to remove the excess sealant to resolve this issue.
Phantom pain is rare when it comes to root canals. This occurs when the nerve leading upto the tooth still behaves like it were connected to the tooth despite the nerve within the tooth being completely removed. The peripheral nerves will need to be treated to resolve this issue.
In most cases these events cannot be prevented. There is also no reason to expect that this is a symptom of your root canal being a failure. Stay in touch with your dentist and brush and floss your teeth regularly. You will soon notice the pain subsiding.
Whether the question is based on cost or time or your health, a root canal is always the best option (not better) as long as your teeth are in a condition to be saved by a root canal procedure. Even a costly and advanced treatment procedure such as a dental implant treatment cannot wholly replicate the function of a natural tooth. So, better save your own teeth.
And regarding the cost of treatment, the price of tooth extraction may be less, but when you add up the cost of replacement teeth with either an implant or a bridge, the cost becomes much more than a root canal followed by a crown.
And you can't leave a lost space without replacing with an artificial tooth as it may lead to a variety of problems.
Even after the RCT is complete, patients must visit their endodontists or dentists to get the proper restorative work completed on the tooth.
Tobacco has many ill effects on the health and dental health is one of them. From dark stains to poor gum health to increased incidence of decay to the more severe oral cancer, tobacco has a very detrimental effect on your dental health. Read on know more about how harmful tobacco can be on the dental system.
Now, if all these are not good enough to kick the habit, remember this list is only for the mouth and the teeth. The whole body goes through a lot more harmful effects, and that should be a good reason to quit tobacco use in any form. If you need professional help, do not be embarrassed to seek.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal therapy is actually a process in which diseased, damaged or dead pulp (soft tissue inside your tooth with nerves and blood vessels) is removed from the canals of tooth, after which it is restored by cleaning, shaping and filling of the canals using a suitable restorative material.
Root canal therapy can be done in a single appointment or it might also take multiple visits depending on the situation of infected tooth.
The treated tooth is usually brittle and prone to fracture as there is not much tooth structure left due to a previous huge cavity. Hence after the treatment a crown should be placed on the tooth to restore its natural shape, appearance and prevent it from any possible damage or fracture.
Root canal therapy is one of the best options to save your natural tooth structure from further damage.
A root canal means that the pulp or soft tissue inside a tooth has been damaged by bacterial infection. A root canal involves removing the damaged pulp, cleaning the infection and filling in the emptied space.
Is dentistry expensive?
One word answer to this will be a No!
Dentistry is not expensive, delay is.
Usually we dentist recommend to come for check up every 6 months, but we all are lazy especially for our own health. Going for a picnic or going to mall is all right but going for health check up is a big no.
As a result the small cavities which were possible to treat in 1 sitting, half an hour & less expense turns into a deeper cavity, reaching pulp & causing painc & that is when we run to our dentist. We do get calls at midnight or early morning when we are not out of bed! pain is there since 2-3 days but now it has become severe! most of the time tooth requires root canal treatment or extraction.Patients do complain very time I come to you, you suggest root canal to which my reply is only time you come to me when you have pain.
Now the same tooth which was possible to treat in 1 sitting becomes 6-8 sittings, half an hour becomes 5 hours & expense becomes 8-15 times.