A root canal is a dental procedure carried out to save a severely damaged or infected tooth. Root canal treatment saves and repairs your original tooth and prevents tooth extraction. The dentist removes the infected or inflamed pulp during the root canal treatment process.
After that, the dentist disinfects and seals the affected area. Root canal treatment is a widely preferred procedure because it saves the functionality of your original teeth rather than providing you with artificial dental alternatives.
Dentists recommend root canal treatment if you have the following issues:
- Chipped or cracked teeth due to an injury or trauma.
- An oral bacterial infection.
- The inflamed pulp inside the root canal.
- Decayed tooth.
- Discoloured tooth.
Various symptoms determine you might need root canal treatment involving persistent pain while chewing, extreme sensitivity while having hot or cold food items, and swollen gum area.
If you experience any of these issues, consult your dentist at once, as prolonged and untreated dental problems can cause severe consequences by significantly deteriorating your oral health.
PROCEDURE OF ROOT CANAL
You might need to visit your endodontist more than once for the completion of the root canal procedure. The process of root canal treatment usually takes place in four steps:
1. INJECTION OF ANAESTHESIA
Firstly, the endodontist numbs the infected area with the help of medications or simply injects local anaesthesia into the gums to prevent pain sensations. During this process, the patients usually remain awake but do not experience any pain due to the anaesthetic.
2. REMOVAL OF THE PULP
After injecting anaesthesia, the endodontist exposes the infected pulp by making a small opening on top of the tooth. Then the endodontist removes the inflamed pulp with the use of special dental tools called files. Then he might clean or disinfect the canals or pathways in your tooth.
3. USE OF ANTIBIOTICS
After removing the pulp, endodontists coat the area with antibiotics to minimise the spread of infection or to prevent reinfection. After cleaning and disinfecting the canals, he/she seals and fills the tooth with a material called gutta-percha.
In some cases, the endodontist also suggests some oral antibiotics to the patients to reduce the pain sensations and control inflammation.
4. TEMPORARY FILLINGS
Lastly, the endodontist ends this procedure by filling the tooth opening with a soft and temporary material called sealant. Sealant prevents the root canals from being damaged by saliva.
COST OF ROOT CANAL
The cost of a root canal differs from region to region and also depends on the patient’s oral condition. However, the estimated root canal costs in Toronto range between $300 to $1500. The cost of a root canal also differs for the type of teeth.
For example, the root canal costs for front teeth are generally between $600 to $1100; for premolars, the costs are between $700 to $1300; and for molars, the approximate costs of root canal treatment exceed $1500.
Root canal treatment for molars is the most complicated procedure and has the highest cost.
WHAT IS THE EXTENT OF ROOT CANAL PAIN?
Root canal treatment is mostly done using numbing medications, so patients do not feel any pain sensations during the procedure. However, after getting your treatment done, people might experience mild pain for a few days, a bit of soreness in the affected area, or slight discomfort, but these are temporary side effects and go away on their own.
Sometimes, when the pain exceeds a few days, the patients should consult their dentist or get painkillers or antibiotics. Patients should also practice good oral hygiene after the root canal treatment to eliminate the risks of any reinfection.
ROOT CANAL BEFORE AND AFTER
A cavity that remains untreated in your mouth for longer periods causes serious complications and can severely affect your chewing abilities. So it is necessary to treat bacterial infections and cavities in the initial stages to prevent critical dental procedures like tooth extraction.
Root canal treatment mainly repairs your natural teeth; that’s why endodontists prefer it because no artificial alternative can take the place of originality.
After getting the root canal treatment, patients feel significant improvement in the functionality of their teeth by getting rid of severe and consistent pain sensations. Root canal treatment allows the patients to eat anything they want as it treats the natural teeth.
SYMPTOMS BEFORE HAVING ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
The patients experience different symptoms before having root canal treatment. Some most common signs that determine you might need a root canal are as follows:
- Persistent tooth pain.
- Extreme sensitivity to heat and cold.
- Tooth discolouration or badly stained teeth.
- Tender or swollen gums.
- Severe pain sensations while chewing.
- A chipped or cracked tooth.
- Tooth mobility.
- Pimples on the gums.
- Decayed or darkened gums.
These are some common symptoms that indicate you might be in immediate need of a root canal. If you encounter any of the above signs, consult your dentist as soon as possible and prevent the spread of infection in your gums.
DO ROOT CANALS HURT?
A root canal is a painless procedure because of the injection of anaesthetic into the patient’s gum. Even if the patients are usually awake during the root canal procedure, they still do not feel any pain.
However, after getting the treatment done, when the affected area is not numbed anymore, patients do feel slight discomfort or mild pain in the first few days, but this pain sensation is temporary and goes away on their own or with the help of painkillers.
HOW LONG DOES A ROOT CANAL TAKE?
The patients generally visit their endodontist more than two times during the root canal treatment. In the first appointment, the dentist usually removes the inflamed or infected pulp; in the next appointment, he cleans and fills the root canals with a temporary filling or dental crown to complete the procedure.
The time of this treatment depends on the extent of the infection. Normally, this procedure is completed within an hour, but if several teeth are damaged, the treatment process might take two hours or more.
A root canal is a completely non-invasive procedure that allows patients to perform their daily activities without any kind of hindrance or restriction.