Root Canal Treatment
Endodontic treatment or root canal treatment is the intervention of the dentist inside the tooth, ie the pulp (nerve) and partly in the dentin.
The purpose of this treatment is the removal of diseased or dead pulp, the removal of germs from the inside of the tooth and the subsequent obturation of the root canal / canals in order to facilitate the healing of periapical tissues
-Locally anesthetize the tooth
-The tooth is isolated from saliva and generally from oral secretions since they are rich in bacteria.
-With a special endodontic motor access the nerve then with a special digital apex locator, the root tubes are located and their lengths are measured.
-Then, the pulp is removed while cleaning and properly forms root canals
-Disinfect each root canal with special solutions to neutralize germs
-There is the possibility that antibiotics may be prescribed to the patient if an inflammation has been extended beyond the apex of the tooth (this is not rare at all)
-A special calcium hydroxide paste is placed in the root canals of the tooth to further neutralize the germs and the patient comes back after a few days to complete the endodontic treatment, although the treatment usually takes more than 2 visits.
Instructions to Patients
- During treatment the tooth is sensitive so avoid chewing on that side, especially hard foods, and inform the doctor if the temporary filling is completely gone.
- It is possible that some inconveniences may occur that may be due to
- Irritation of the area around the tooth due to treatment
- An elation of an old infection that existed before, but was in remission. In this case, there may be swelling and severe pain.
In those cases follow the instructions below
- Rinse every two hours with warm saline water or chamomile
- If there is swelling, place ice for 5 minutes and repeat every 2 hours
- If there is pain you can take painkillers
- Do not hesitate to call the dentist for information and instructions
Success of Treatment
The probability of success of endodontic treatment according to the literature rarely exceeds 85% and depends mainly on the morphology of the tooth,
Very narrow Roots, with bends do not allow satisfactory processing and disinfection. Sometimes the pulp has small branches, the so-called “collateral tubes”, that there is a high probability that it will not be possible to access.
The final restoration that is required depends on the degree of destruction of the tooth and can be a simple filling, a porcelain cap etc.
However, it is true that the tooth after the endodontic treatment becomes more fragile, so the cap solution that will protect the tooth from fractures is the best solution, however it costs more.
Root Canal Retreatment
There is a chance that an old root canal may not go well for many reasons. In this case, usually there is an inflammatory reaction in the periapical tissues. Bacteria from the root canals that were infected for some reason travel to the periapical tissues causing inflammatory reaction that we usually call ” abscess, which causes pain and perhaps swelling.
In this case, if the dentist says so, repetition of the root canal may be the solution.
The main problem after a successful retreatment of root canal, is that the tooth becomes even more fragile and prone to fractures, so it is recommended to place a crown to protect the tooth.
Most frequent questions and answers
You should always try to save your natural teeth and if your dentist tells you that this is possible, a retreatment is indicated. Remember, nothing can replace your natural tooth.
In most cases yes. However occasionally a tooth may not be able to be saved:
– When Root Canals are inaccessible,
– When the root is too thin and fragile,
– When the tooth does not have sufficient support to the bone (this is usually accompanied by mobility of the tooth).
– When the tooth itself is so damaged and cannot be restored properly.
– Wisdom teeth usually are not treated because of their difficult access.
The aim is to offer a completely painless endodontic treatment. Usually patients do not feel pain during treatment. After treatment, some sensitivity is expected, which is usually managed with medication.
Antibiotics will help to limit edema for some time, but itwill be temporary. In this case root canal treatment is necessary if the tooth can be restored after treatment correctly. It is advisable not to postpone the visit to the dentist because most likely you will miss the chance to save your tooth.