A person’s natural teeth are designed to last their entire lifetime, though various factors have been known to affect their integrity, strength, and general well-being. Issues such as disease, health problems, accident, injuries, poor dental hygiene, drama, decay, cracks and chips, and having repeated procedures performed on the tooth, can all result in infection or inflammation. When these types of circumstances occur, an individual may require root canal therapy in order to save the affected elements.
This procedure, which is also known as endodontic treatment, is necessary when the pulp inside the tooth has been infected or aggravated by extenuating circumstances. This process is designed to remove the affected material and save the teeth. Having this kind of work done can help a person maintain their natural smile, and continue enjoying the drinks and foods that they love, without the worry of pain and high sensitivity, or threat of a abscess.
Understanding endodontic treatment is much easier once one is familiar with the structure of teeth. The innermost area of a tooth is a soft pulp substance filled with connective tissues, blood vessels, and the various nerves that served the purpose of nurturing the roots during the developmental phase, though this section is not necessary in once fully developed, as nourishment is provided by surrounding tissue. Surrounding this is a hard layer of dentin, which is covered by the familiar white material known as enamel.
When many people think of this procedure, they automatically associated it with pain, however, it is generally no more painful than having a routine filling performed. In most circumstances, it can be completed in no more than two appointments, though that depends on the individual patient’s personal circumstances, and the condition of the infected tooth. Restoration can assist in allowing one to keep their natural appearance, retain normal biting force and gum sensation, and keeps chewing efficient, while protecting the other teeth from becoming excessively strained or worn.
Many infections are discovered during routine examinations, or when a patient goes into the dentist complaining of unusual sensitivity or intense pain. An x-ray will be conducted in order to confirm the suspicions of infection or inflammation, and to locate the exact location of the decay. Before the procedure actually begins, a local anesthetic will be applied directly to the area of the affected tooth so that the individual is comfortable throughout the entire process.
After the patient is completely numb with the local anesthetic, the dentist can begin the process by drilling through the crown in order to reach the pulp chamber. Using a special tool known as an endodontic file, they are able to remove the inflamed material and reshape the area inside the tooth that has been affected. Irrigation pumps are used to flush out any loose debris and to thoroughly clean the opened space so that it can be thoroughly disinfected to guard against any future infection.
Once the chamber has been filed, cleaned, and disinfected thoroughly, the dentist can use a plunger tool to fill the area with a material that is similar to rubber, called gutta-percha. The purpose of root canal therapy is to protect the canals from any contamination and future infections, and to provide structure to the tooth. In some situations, a post may need to be placed down into this substance in order to provide additional support for the new crown.
Using a special shaping tool, the gutta-percha can be molded and shaped into the proper form, so that it is consistent with its location in the mouth. At this point, the tooth is ready to be restored to its former glory with the installation of a permanent crown, or if the dentist decides it is best, a filling, which will protect the materials on the inside. Caps are designed to look and function the same as natural teeth once they are cemented into place.
Endodontic procedures have a very high rate of success, and with proper treatment, they can perform normal functions and last for a lifetime. The main thing a person needs to do to maintain their dental work, is to practice good oral hygiene by brushing thoroughly twice a day, flossing between each tooth at least once daily, and keeping up with routine visits to the dentist or hygienist for regular examinations and cleaning. It would also be advisable to avoid chewing on foods that are hard, because materials such as ice, can actually do harm to the coverings, causing them to chip, crack, or even break, which may resulting having to have more work done.
Dr. Tony Saad is an experienced professional dentist who specialises in dentistry. He has performed many dental treatments. From his dentist career and has a keen interest in writing. Now, he is working as a professional dentist for Dental Avenue Maroubra. He loves writing and believes in using the power of words to express relevant information. Read his articles and do support him with your feedback.