Deep dental cleanings involve providing your teeth with a deep cleaning to get rid of plaque, tartar, and …
A root canal infection is caused when the microbes in the mouth enter the root canal cavity and infect the dental pulp. It can be quite a painful and invasive condition, which, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Hence, we recommend getting such a tooth treated using root canal therapy to save it from being extracted.
The leading cause of root canal infection is leaving cavities untreated for a long duration, which eventually allows the microbes to enter the deeper root canal cavity. The microbes in tartar are quite harmful and can infect the dental pulp, causing a root canal infection. Some of the other causes are gum diseases, cracked or broken teeth, untreated oral injuries, etc.
Q. What is a root canal?
A. A root canal is a dental procedure performed by a dentist or endodontist to treat a severely infected or damaged tooth. It involves removing the infected pulp from the tooth's root canal and filling it to prevent further infection.
Q. Why is a root canal necessary?
A. A root canal is necessary when the pulp inside a tooth becomes infected or inflamed due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures, or a cracked or broken tooth. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the surrounding tissues and cause severe pain and abscess formation.
Q. How can I tell if I need a root canal?
A. Some common signs that indicate the need for a root canal include severe toothache, prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, swelling and tenderness in the gums, a darkened tooth, or a pimple-like bump on the gums. However, only a dentist can confirm the need for a root canal through a proper examination and X-rays.
Q. How is a root canal procedure performed?
A. The dentist or endodontist starts by numbing the area around the tooth with local anesthesia. They then create a small access hole in the tooth to reach the infected pulp and remove it. The root canal is thoroughly cleaned and shaped, and a biocompatible material called gutta-percha is used to fill the empty space. Finally, a dental crown or filling is placed on the tooth to restore its strength and function.
Q. Does a root canal procedure hurt?
A. During the root canal procedure, local anesthesia is used to numb the area, so you should not feel any pain. However, it is normal to experience some discomfort and mild soreness after the procedure. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage any post-treatment discomfort.
Q. Are there any alternatives to a root canal?
A. In most cases, a root canal is the best treatment option to save a severely infected or damaged tooth. The only alternative to a root canal is extracting the tooth. However, it's generally recommended to preserve natural teeth whenever possible to maintain proper oral function and prevent further complications.
Q. How long does a root canal procedure take?
A. The duration of a root canal procedure can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the tooth being treated. On average, a root canal can be completed in one to two appointments, each lasting around 60 to 90 minutes. In some instances, additional visits may be required.
Q. What is the success rate of root canal treatment?
A. Root canal treatment has a high success rate, with more than 90% of cases being successful. The treated tooth can function normally and last a lifetime with proper care, such as regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups.
Q. Are there any risks or complications associated with root canal treatment?
A. Like any medical or dental procedure, there are potential risks and complications with root canal treatment, although they are rare. These can include infection recurrence, damage to surrounding tissues, instrument breakage, or an inadequate seal of the root canal, which may require additional treatment or re-treatment.
Q. How much does a root canal cost?
A. The cost of a root canal can vary depending on factors such as the tooth being treated, the severity of the infection or damage, and the location. Generally, a root canal treatment can cost several hundred to a few thousand dollars. Dental insurance may help cover a portion of the cost, so it's advisable to check with your insurance provider for details.