ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Natural teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Even if one of your teeth should become critically injured or diseased, it can often be saved through a specialized dental procedure known as endodontic treatment or commonly called as Root Canal Treatment.
Years ago such teeth used to be extracted. Today endodontic treatment has become a common procedure to save teeth.
To understand Root Canal Treatment you first have to get an idea about the structure of the tooth. The outer layer of the tooth is made up of the enamel, which is the hardest structure in the body. Under the enamel is the dentin, which is softer than the enamel. The third innermost layer is the pulp, which is a soft tissue, which contains the nerves and blood vessels, which gives the life to the tooth. The pulp extends from within the portion of the tooth visible above the gums and goes all the way down to the tips of each root of the tooth. The root is long and narrow, so the pulp in the root is in the shape of a long and narrow canal.
When decay sets in a tooth and is not treated in time the decay goes and touches the pulp. Once this happens it causes an infection within the tooth. This can cause pain. This infection if still left untreated will go beyond the root and into the bone to cause an abscess. This can cause acute pain on chewing, swelling and later pus discharge. The process of physically removing this infection is called as Root Canal Treatment.
During Root Canal Treatment an opening is made from the tooth- biting surface to the pulp. Then the diseased pulp is physically removed and the canal enlarged with root canal files. Intermittently the canal is irrigated with a solution to flush out the diseased pulp.
If needed medication may then be put in the canal between appointments to help healing.
The empty space in the root canal is then filled with an inert material, which does not react with the surrounding tissues. This seals the canal and prevents bacteria from reentering the canal.
After the root canal the tooth is functional but dead as it has no blood and nerve supply now. Hence it is brittle and has a chance of fracturing. So it is often important to crown (cap) the tooth especially if there is thin tooth structure left.
A root canal treated tooth can last for a lifetime if you continue to care for your teeth and gums.
Root Canal Treatment