Patients often turn up for a root canal treatment or schedule an appointment with the dentist, only when the pain (from the infection) turns excruciating. Well, delaying a dental visit could only end up in losing your tooth. If the infection reaches to such an extent such that it cannot be treated anymore, the only option you are left with is a tooth extraction!
So, if you don’t want to let go off your original tooth (as a missing tooth affects your personality and restorative treatments are costly as well as time consuming!), address a tooth pain as soon as you are able to feel it. A visit to your dentist must be scheduled as early as possible.
Let us first check out the possible hazards that a missing tooth would cause in your normal day-to-day living.
A root canal therapy is an endodontic (inside the tooth) treatment, where the roots of the tooth are treated. A tooth primarily has two parts - a crown and the roots. The upper visible part that contains the chewing surface is the crown and the lower part that finally embeds inside the gums, is the root. When the infection in the pulp spreads to the site where the roots penetrate the gums, a Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is required. The pulp is the collection of blood vessels, nerve tissue and other cells, which stays protected by the outer hard shell (that is your tooth roots!). Let us look into the steps involved in a RCT.
Steps involved in a Root Canal Therapy:
1. Accessing the pulp
A small hole is made through the surface of the tooth to access the infected pulp inside. In order to do this anesthesia is applied, which makes you sit comfortably in front of your dentist.
2. Cleaning the pulp
The infected pulp is cleaned. The damaged nerve tissue and other affected cells are also removed in the process. Now, once the nerve is removed your tooth is actually dead. You are no longer able to feel any pain in your tooth!
3. Filling the canal
The hollow space that is created, is then filled with a rubber-like material, which is stuck in place with an adhesive.
4. Placing the crown
After sealing the canals completely, the crown is placed above. It functions like a normal tooth once again and now that the blood vessels and tissues are missing, the tooth above receives nourishment from the ligament that attaches it to the bone. This is a dire necessity as the tooth already becomes a little vulnerable and less stronger than before.
A root canal therapy therefore, most importantly, cuts down the pain sensation completely. Once the pulp is cleared, there is no cause of worry on the patient’s part. However, there are certain things to be kept in mind post a RCT procedure.
What follows a Root Canal Treatment?
Some natural tooth inflammation persists for a few days after the root canal treatment. A little amount of discomfort as well as sensitivity also exists which can be related to the swelling.
The pain and swelling is normally dealt with over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen etc.
Most patients return to their normal life and activities the very next day.
Although there are no eating restrictions as such, sticking to a soft diet for the next couple of days is generally advisable.
Hence, even if the nerve tissues are pulled off after a root canal treatment, it is incorrect to be under the impression that your tooth won’t ache. It could probably cause trouble, but only for a short duration (as long as the swelling remains!). On the contrary, do not associate a root canal treatment with ‘pain’! The treatment does not cause pain,the infection does. The more you linger with it, the more it is going to hurt!
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