This treatment is carried out in cases where the tooth decay or fracture is very deep and involving the pulp. The pulp if the soft centre of the tooth having nerve endings responsible for causing pain and other sensation. In simple terms it means the removal of the infected or damaged pulp tissue within the tooth and replacement by artificial biocompatible inert filling material. The procedure is carried out under the influence of a local anesthetic and is painless. Root canal treated teeth have a tendency to become brittle with time therefore must be protected with a crown.
Root canal treatment is for a patient complaining of severe toothache while chewing food or severe pain while taking hot or cold liquids, darkening of the tooth when the patient meets with an accident, a long standing dental infection in the bone and in case of severely worn out teeth where crown (cap) is being advised by the dentist. It is the best way to preserve a natural tooth.
A detailed consultation should be done with the dentist to understand why there is a need for root canal treatment. Digital X - raysare also required before and during the procedure. Find out the various reasons to save the natural tooth from your dentist. The procedure is usually done under antibiotic coverage and you may have to start the medication 1 or 2 days prior to it.
It is ideally a single sitting procedure where Local anaesthesia is administered to numb the tooth and surrounding area, a small opening is made in the biting surface of the tooth. Dead and or dying tissue is removed from the pulp chamber and the root canals are cleaned, disinfected and sealed to prevent future infection.
In cases where there is a source of infection present it can need multiple visits till your infection subsides.
For 24 hours after root canal treatment of the tooth:-
- Your tooth may feel tender or sensitive for a few days. You can take over- the- counter pain killers or as prescribed by your dentist to relieve pain or discomfort.
- It is a concern if you have pain that lasts more than a week.
- A crown is usually needed to protect the tooth following root canal treatment.
- Don't chew on the affected tooth until symptoms subside and the tooth has been restored as necessary.
- Avoid biting finger nails, pens cap, pencils etc and avoid using your teeth to open bottles or to tear packets.
- Maintain oral hygiene by regular brushing twice a day and flossing.
- Visit your dentist every 3 - 6 months.
- Eat healthy foods like green vegetables, fruits and dairy products like milk, cheese.
- Drink plenty of water before and after meals so the unwanted food particles are flushed out.
- Limit the consumption of acidic foods and beverages like tea, coffee, fizzy drinks.
- Limit the consumption of sticky foods like pizza, candies, chocolates etc.
- Avoid biting finger nails, pen's cap, pencils etc and avoid using your teeth to open bottles or to tear packets.
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