Root Canal Treatment: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and More


10 April 2024

No Comments

Toothaches can be disruptive and downright painful. But what if the throbbing pain isn’t just a passing annoyance and signals a deeper problem? In such cases, you might require a root canal treatment. While the term “root canal” often evokes fear, it’s a common dental procedure that can alleviate pain and save your tooth.

Why The Pulp of the Teeth Matters

Before diving into root canals, let’s understand the tooth’s anatomy. Each tooth has a hard outer shell (enamel) and a dentin layer beneath it. The pulp is the soft tissue in the core that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. The pulp nourishes the tooth during development but isn’t essential for a mature tooth’s function.

Reasons for When You Need Root Canal

When bacteria breach the enamel and dentin, they can infect the pulp. This infection can stem from various reasons:

  • Deep cavities: If left untreated, cavities can progress to the pulp.
  • Cracked or chipped teeth: Cracks or chips can provide pathways for bacteria to enter the pulp.
  • Repeated dental procedures: Multiple procedures on the same tooth can irritate the pulp.
  • Gum disease (periodontitis): In severe cases, gum disease can damage the bone supporting the tooth, allowing bacteria to reach the pulp.

Indications For Root Canal Treatment

How do you know if you need a root canal? Here’s a list of symptoms to watch out for:

  • Persistent toothache: This pain can be throbbing, sharp, or dull and may worsen when applying pressure or consuming hot or cold beverages.
  • Sensitivity to temperature: Lingering pain or discomfort after consuming hot or cold food or drinks can indicate pulp irritation.
  • Swollen gums: Inflammation or tenderness around the affected tooth might be present.
  • Visible pimple on the gum: In some cases, an abscess (pus-filled bump) near the tooth may develop.
  • Loose tooth: A loose tooth can indicate advanced infection affecting the bone surrounding the root.

The Root Canal Procedure

If you experience any of these symptoms, a visit to your dentist is crucial. They’ll conduct a thorough examination, including X-rays, to diagnose the cause of your pain. If a root canal is necessary, here’s what to expect:

  • Local anaesthesia: The dentist will numb and desensitise the area around the tooth and make sure the procedure is completely painless. 
  • Isolation: A rubber wall will be used to keep the tooth isolated and the area clean.
  • Access and cleaning: The dentist will create a small opening in the tooth’s crown and carefully remove the infected pulp. The canals within the tooth’s root will be cleaned properly and disinfected.
  • Filling and sealing: Once the canals are disinfected, they’ll be filled with a special material and sealed to prevent reinfection.
  • Restoration: Typically, a crown is placed on the treated tooth to regain its strength and function. This step might require a separate appointment.

What is the Number of Visits Needed

The number of root canal appointments depends on the complexity of the case. Typically, it can be completed in one to two visits. However, if the infection is severe or the canals are difficult to access, additional appointments might be needed.

What to Expect After a Root Canal

Following a root canal, some soreness or discomfort around the treated tooth is normal. This can be subsided with over-the-counter pain relievers as prescribed by your dentist. It’s crucial to maintain good oral health and hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly to promote healing and prevent future problems.

What are The Benefits of Root Canals

Root canal treatment offers several advantages:

  • Pain relief: The procedure eliminates the infection causing the toothache.
  • Tooth preservation: Root canals save your natural tooth, preventing the need for an extraction and potential complications like jawbone deterioration.
  • Improved oral health: By keeping your natural tooth structure, you maintain a healthy bite and prevent surrounding teeth from shifting.
  • Cost-effective: While root canals might seem expensive upfront, they are typically less costly than extractions and replacements like bridges or implants in the long run.

Root Canals and Myths

Many misconceptions surround root canals. Here are some common myths debunked:

  • Myth: Root canals are painful. Reality: With local anaesthesia, the procedure itself is painless. Any post-procedural discomfort is manageable with medication.
  • Myth: Root canals weaken teeth. Reality: While the tooth loses its pulp, a root canal treatment strengthens the tooth by removing the infection and filling the canals. The crown further protects the tooth, allowing it to function normally for many years.
  • Myth: Root canals cause health problems. Reality: There’s no scientific evidence linking root canals to systemic health issues.

Tips to Prevent the Need for Root Canals

By practising good oral hygiene, you can significantly reduce the possible risk of needing a root canal:

  • Brushing twice daily: Use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste to properly get rid of plaque and bacteria from your gum line.
  • Flossing daily: Flossing reaches areas between teeth that brushing can’t, removing plaque and preventing gum disease.
  • Regular dental checkups: Schedule standard routine checkups and cleanings with your dentist. for early detection and treatment of cavities or other dental issues.
  • Maintain a balanced diet: Limit sugary foods and drinks that can contribute to tooth decay.

Root canal treatment is absolutely safe and effective and can alleviate dental pain, save your teeth, and preserve your smile. If you’re experiencing symptoms suggestive of a root canal, don’t hesitate to visit your dentist. Early detection and treatment can help avoid complications and confirm a smooth recovery. 
Remember, a healthy mouth makes for an overall healthy well-being, and root canals can play a vital role in achieving that. Contact Rouse Hill Smiles Dental Care for a smooth experience with Root Canal Treatments.

Leave a Reply