Each tooth consists of 2 parts : The Crown and The Root. Only the Crown is visible in the mouth .The Roots are in the bone , under the gums . The gums are a protective type of skin that clings to the neck of the teeth and covers the bone holding the teeth. The Crown of a tooth has an outer shell made of a very hard substance called enamel . The inside of the tooth is made of a less hard substance called dentin. The hollow in the crown portion of the tooth is called the pulp chamber. In the root portion of the tooth , the hollow narrows to become a small canal called the root canal. Bacteria are the most common causes of inflammation and infection of the pulp . They enter the pulp through tooth decay or if a tooth breaks .
Root canal treatment involves the removal of the pulp tissues from the tooth to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing . The pulp can be infected or inflamed due to either deep decay or an extensive restoration that involves the pulp, cracked or fractured tooth due to trauma, excessive wear of enamel and dentine exposing the pulp, and sometimes as a result of severe gum disease.
Signs of pulp damage may include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, swelling, tenderness of the overlying gums or a bad taste in the mouth. On the other hand, there may be no symptoms at all. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can eventually cause pain, swelling and loss of the supporting bone.
HOW ROOT CANAL THERAPY IS DONE?
- Step 1 : The dentist gently makes an opening into the tooth .Local Anesthesia may be necessary to prevent pain that can occur if any nerve fibers are still alive in the pulp. All the tooth decay is removed.
- Step 2: Using small, specially designed hand or rotary files, the root canals are cleaned and shaped to a form that can be sealed. Debris within the canals is removed by flushing with an anti-bacterial solution.
- Step 3: The canals are finally filled or sealed with an inert material called gutta-percha. The tooth should be restored to full shape and function by either a permanent filling or a crown, depending on how much of the tooth is left. This should be done as soon as possible as there could be a risk of tooth fracture due to biting forces.
IS ROOT CANAL THERAPY PAINFUL?
Root canal treatment procedures are relatively comfortable and often painless as the tooth is anaesthetised during treatment. Local Anesthesia can make teeth painless to treat . Between treatments , asprin strength medications usually work well .Occasionally , dentist must write a prescription for a strong pain reliever .
IS ROOT CANAL THERAPY QUITE EXPENSIVE ?
It’s not , considering the time , patience and skill needed to perform it. And the cost of root canal therapy is substantially less than the cost of a bridge needed to replace a tooth lost because root canal therapy was not done.