Referral Dilemmas with Root Canal TreatmentMarch 10, 2020 11:58 am
- What is a root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is a type of endodontic treatment. The word “endodontic” is derived from the Greek words “endo” which means “inside,” and “odont” which means “tooth.” Root canal treatments are now considered routine procedures just like fillings, unlike the old days. Therefore, there is no need to worry if your General Dentist refers you to a Root Canal Specialist for a root canal procedure.
To understand what this type of endodontic treatment exactly is, it is important to first have some background about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth, underneath the white enamel and a hard layer called dentin, a soft tissue called pulp is present within the root canal – the natural cavity within the centre of the tooth. Containing blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, the pulp helps grow the root of the tooth.
A fully developed tooth does not need the pulp to survive as it receives its nourishment from surrounding tissue. The tooth nerve – also present within the root canal –does not have a functional value after the tooth has emerged through the gums other than allowing the sensation of hot and cold. During a root canal procedure, the pulp and nerve are removed, followed by cleaning and sealing the inside of the tooth.
- Why is it needed?
Root canal treatments are used to save teeth that are badly decayed or infected in order to save surrounding tissue from infection or abscesses and to prevent a need for gum disease treatment if the condition gets worse. When the pulp or nerve is damaged, bacteria start multiplying within the pulp chamber. The bacteria, along with decayed debris, may cause an infection or an abscessed tooth (an abscess is a pus-filled pocket which forms at the end of the roots, and happens when the infection spreads past the ends of the roots).
An abscess is not the worst thing that a root canal infection can cause. Other effects that may follow if no treatment is received are:
- Swelling that may spread to the face, neck or head
- Bone loss around the root tip
- Drainage problems: a hole could be formed through the side of the tooth draining into the gums, or through the cheeks with drainage into the skin
A tooth’s nerve and pulp may be damaged in the first place due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, a crack or chip in a tooth or face trauma. For this reason, it is important to visit the best dental clinic in Dubai for regular check-ups to guarantee to receive highest quality dental care for your teeth, and diagnosing damage early on to prevent the need for extensive or gum disease treatments.
- Caring for your teeth post-treatment
You may experience some sensitivity in the tooth for a few days due to natural tissue inflammation, especially if you had pain or infection before the procedure. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen may be used for pain relief, and the patient may resume their life normally the next day.
It is highly recommended to minimize chewing on the treated tooth until the permanent filling and/or the crown are in place. This is to avoid recontamination of the interior of the tooth, and may also prevent a fragile tooth from breaking until it is fully restored.
Healthy oral habits such as brushing, flossing and using an antiseptic mouthwash should be exercised as usual, in addition to visiting your root canal specialist at the agreed intervals.
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