A common and recognized dental practice, this procedure can be scary and remains marked by false beliefs. However, few people really know what this treatment is for.
In this article, the dentists of the Mont-Royal Dental Center explain to you what a root canal treatment is and demystify this dental treatment that is beneficial for the oral health of patients.
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment , also called endodontic treatment, is a practice that your dentist can use when you have tooth decay. This procedure involves removing infected, damaged and/or dead dental pulp from the canals of your teeth.
In case of deep cavities, damaged fillings or cracks, bacteria can get inside the tooth where the dental pulp is located. This inner part of the tooth, filled with soft tissue containing nerves and blood vessels, can become infected or necrotic, and cause a dental abscess.
By removing the dental pulp that is the source of the infection and abscess, it is then possible to eliminate the discomfort and lingering pain that a patient may experience.
Why use root canal treatment?
A root canal treatment is recommended if the dental pulp is damaged, infected or necrotic. This devitalization procedure aims to avoid more serious oral complications.
If the intervention is carried out in time, it allows the patient to keep his natural tooth and preserve the masticatory function as well as the aesthetics of his teeth. However, if the infection is not treated early enough, it can lead to more serious oral health problems, including the need to extract the affected tooth .
Visit your dentist regularly to minimize oral problems
The pain associated with tooth decay or an abscess can be intense and difficult to bear. However, only x-rays and a careful examination can allow your dentist to make an accurate diagnosis. And to recommend a root canal treatment if this dental treatment is the one that best suits your oral situation.
How to alleviate the related pain?
Pain may be felt by the patient before and after the procedure. To overcome this, several solutions are possible.
Reduce pain before root canal treatment
Prior to the intervention, and when the pain is too strong for the patient, the dentist may decide to prescribe antibiotics. In addition to considerably relieving the patient’s ailments, antibiotics help fight the bacteria responsible for the infection.
Reduce pain during the procedure
In the vast majority of cases, root canal treatment is performed when the patient is under local anesthesia. The intervention is therefore painless. However, in rarer cases, general anesthesia may be recommended.
Reduce pain after root canal treatment
Although the root canal treatment brings lasting relief to the patient, it is possible that the latter still feels pain in the days following the operation. This discomfort is usually felt when chewing. Taking acetaminophen, or analgesics prescribed by the dentist, can relieve pain and eat normally.
How does the procedure take place ?
Let’s take a closer look at how a root canal treatment takes place. Here are the most important steps:
What to do after root canal treatment?
A tooth treated in this way usually needs to be covered with a dental crown. This prosthodontic treatment makes it possible to durably strengthen the tooth and restore the dentition to its full chewing functionality. This solution is also aesthetically pleasing, integrating perfectly into the smile.
To know: even if it has been devitalized, a tooth treated by a root canal treatment can still be affected by a gum problem or a cavity. Postoperative care may thus require 1 to 2 visits to the dentist depending on the patient’s oral situation. Following the operation, it is also possible that the devitalized tooth will remain sensitive for 2 to 3 weeks. There is nothing abnormal about that. However, if you experience more severe pain or swelling, scheduling a follow-up appointment at your dental center is recommended.
Root canal treatment: to ensure your oral health
So this is it. Now you know a little more about root canal treatment. And as you can see, this type of intervention is much less invasive than one might think.Often root canal treatment avoids tooth extraction . Its success rate is also very high when combined with proper dental hygiene.Your dentist can detect this condition with an x-ray or during a dental exam. If in doubt, contact us today.
In any case, we hope that you have enjoyed this overview of the subject. Looking forward to meeting again in the context of a future article!