Endodontic therapy, popularly known as the root canal treatment (RCT), is a method of treating patients with infection and pain in the teeth. The treatment is required when a bacterial infection spreads around the center of the tooth. Usually, tooth decay is the major cause of infections that require the therapy. However, infections arising from leaks in previous fillings and a sudden traumatic damage to the teeth also may require root canal treatment. Millions of people throughout the world get treated every year through this very effective procedure.
Infection in the Dental Pulp
A tooth is made up of two different parts. One is the hard visible outer part, also called the crown, while the other is the root which extends to the bones of the jaw. The dental pulp lies inside the center of the tooth. It is made up of soft tissue, composed of nerves and blood vessels. Root canal basically is the space inside the tooth that hosts the dental pulp. When the outer crown weakens, the bacteria present outside the tooth infect this pulp and then when the infection reaches further inside, it affects the nerves and blood vessels. At this stage, such an infection causes sharp pain in the teeth, where in extreme cases it can cause even cause swelling around the face area.
The Root Canal Treatment Procedure
When the infection reaches the roots, it can be treated either by the complete extraction of the tooth or by the removal of the infection-causing bacteria from the tooth. Because of the cosmetic and functional importance of the tooth, most patients don’t favor extraction. In such cases, root canal treatment is often favored. The treatment removes the bacteria that cause infection from the root canal area and then the area previously occupied by the dental pulp is filled and sealed with a certain rubber-like filling material. The decaying tooth is further restored by an artificial crown or filling, which ensures that the bacteria doesn’t reach the root canal area. The restoration of the tooth by root canal treatment usually allows the treated tooth to function fully, like the other teeth. An error-free procedure can last at least a decade.
The Symptoms that Call for Root Canal Treatment
If you have any of the following symptoms, then perhaps it’s time you ask your dentist regarding root canal treatment.
• Sharp pain around specific tooth area
• Continuous sensitivity to heat and cold
• Discoloration of infected tooth
• Swelling of lymph nodes and gum tissues
Is the Treatment Procedure Painful?
There are various myths surrounding endodontic treatment based on past treatment methods, which were indeed painful. However, modern innovations in the field of dentistry have ensured that the treatment is not any more painful than having a routine filling. Lately, the treatment can be completed within two appointments. The comfort and satisfaction of a natural tooth are often guaranteed with the treatment. However, do choose an experienced and skillful dentist if you want to get a successful treatment.