Root canal therapy is a dental treatment whose purpose is to repair and save a severely infected or damaged tooth. It involves removing the affected area, which is the pulp, and then cleaning, disinfecting, filling and sealing the rest of the tooth. There can be many causes of tooth damage, such as cracks, trauma, a deep cavity, and so on. “Root canal” is literally the cleaning of the canals found in the roots of teeth.
Steps to Root Canal Therapy
Root canal treatments are done over a number of office visits which include:
Prior to the actual root canal treatment, the dentist will first take x-rays to know the specific condition of the problem tooth.
The area of the affected tooth will be treated with anesthesia, which means a root canal is not at all painful!
This procedure requires opening up the tooth and extracting the damaged pulp inside.
Once all the pulp has been taken out, the roots are then filled with gutta-percha material and the tooth is sealed off with cement.
Caring for a Tooth After Root Canal
As long as it is given proper consistent care, a treated and restored tooth can last a lifetime. Root canals have a very high success rate, but in the end, it will depend on the patient.
Here are effective ways of caring for a tooth after root canal therapy:
Oral Hygiene Maintenance
Although this is a general rule, brushing twice and flossing at least once daily is a must, especially for those who’ve had a root canal.
Regular Visits to the Dentist
On top of self-care, regular visits to the dentist are important in the prevention of dental issues.
No Chewing on Hard Foods
Chewing on hard foods can cause teeth to break, which can be harmful to root canals.
Advantages of Root Canal Therapy vs. Extraction
There’s a number of reasons root canal is often more recommended than extraction. For starters, it doesn’t leave gaps. If the tooth can be saved, it should be saved. Besides, having gaps in between teeth is not very pretty, and fitting a replacement will be expensive. Whatever remains of the tooth following a root canal can simply be restored to shape using a crown, cap, or onlay/inlay.
Another problem is that teeth around a gap tend to move toward it, weakening those teeth and increasing the chances of gum infection.
Most importantly, there is no question that saving teeth as root canals do is always the best option. And this is beyond having a beautiful smile. It’s about maintaining the line of your jaw, your teeth’s overall health, and needing fewer dental treatments.