Are you nervous at the thought of undergoing a root canal treatment, or are you questioning its necessity, what to expect before, during and after this dental treatment?


You may have heard about root canal treatment, but do you know what it is and why you might need it? This dental treatment becomes necessary when the pulp of the tooth, the soft tissue at the center that houses the nerves and blood vessels, is infected. This sounds daunting, but the advantage is that most of the root canal treatments save the tooth for it to last a lifetime.

How does the problem begin?

Our dental pulp is protected by an external dental material. However, if it is exposed, if you break a tooth, or if you have severe cavities or undergo dental treatments in depth, the pulp becomes vulnerable. “Suddenly, saliva and bacteria can reach the nerve and infect it,” says Dr. Bruce Ward, a dentist in North Vancouver. ” The nerve is a very delicate tissue .” When the pulp tissue dies, if the infection is not stopped in time, it spreads, damaging the bone and you lose your tooth.

Why not just extract the tooth?

Removing the tooth may seem like a solution, but keeping your tooth is by far the best option. Losing a tooth can cause jaw problems and alignment of the rest of your teeth. Replacing it with an artificial tooth has disadvantages, such as stopping a well-balanced diet (people tend to avoid certain foods). Moreover, if this is not enough to convince you, know that the root canal treatment is a boon in comparison with an extraction of the tooth and the installation of a bridge or an implant.

How do I know if I need a root canal treatment?

A common symptom of a dental pulp problem is a pain. “If you feel the pain that keeps you awake at night, that occurs when you drink the hot or cold liquid and lasts more than a few minutes, or if you can not chew with a tooth, you have here the indices of the Deterioration of the nerve, “says Dr. Ward. You can also have a swelling. If the damage is caused by accident that has completely severed the blood vessels or nerves, a hockey puck impact on the mouth, for example, then the tooth may become dark. Your dentist may also notice the problem during an examination or on an x-ray.

What’s going to happen?

Treatment can be done by your dentist or an endodontist, specializing in the treatment of dental pulp. He or she will first anesthetize your mouth and install a dike to prevent the bacteria from your saliva from entering the tooth. Then, he makes an incision in the tooth to reach the pulp chamber and the root system. There are one to four (or more) channels in the root of a tooth, depending on its function. Through the hole, the dentist or endodontist extracts the dead or infected tissues and cleans the chamber and channels. This is done by hand or with a motorized instrument.

Then, the channel is filled with a natural inert material. Depending on the state of the tooth, you may have to come back for a dental restoration, such as laying a crown.

Uh … is this painful?

If you are panic-stricken at the thought of pain, calm down. A root canal treatment makes you feel better, no worse. “Usually the symptoms are relieved right from the first appointment,” says Dr. Ward. One can feel a little like after a filling, which is painless with today’s technology. One can feel discomfort for a few days, which can be relieved by an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory.

What should I watch next?

If your tooth hurts or your gum is swelling and bruising, or you still can not chew on that tooth, call you are dental professional. These are signs that something still needs care. It may be a deep fissure in the tooth, a canal that requires treatment, or additional treatment.

However, it is probable, however, that all will be well. If you care for your teeth and gums well, there is no reason why your treated tooth does not last as long as the rest of your teeth.


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