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  • What is a root canal?

    More often than not, people feel uneasy when they hear the term ‘root canal treatment’ as they directly associate the procedure to pain. The perception of root canal treatment being painful began years ago however with modern technologies and anesthetics; root canal treatment today is no more uncomfortable than having a dental filling placed. A recent survey in fact showed that patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as ‘painless’ than patients who have not had root canal treatment.

    The basic anatomy of a tooth includes the outer white enamel, the hard layer called dentin, and the inner soft pulp that extends from the crown to the root of the tooth. Root Canal treatment becomes necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected.

     

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    What are the probable causes for the tooth pulp to become infected / inflamed?

    • Deep decay
    • Repeated dental procedures on the tooth
    • Fractured or cracked tooth
    • Trauma to the tooth

    What are the warning symptoms?

    If you may experience one or more of the following, it is a good indication that you may need root canal therapy:

    • The level of discomfort may range from just slight to extreme and may include a throbbing component (feels like it has its own heartbeat).
    • The pain can be triggered by the exposure to hot or cold foods and beverages or may only be felt in response to a stimulus such as biting or chewing.
    • The discomfort may be severe enough to wake one up from sound sleep.

    What does Root Canal treatment comprise of?

     

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    Root canal treatment or Endodontic therapy is the treatment of the infected pulp chamber with the help of special instruments and devices. The procedure involves both removal of the inflamed or infected pulp and cleaning and disinfection of the pulp chamber. Once this has been accomplished, the canals will be irrigated, filled and sealed with a biocompatible material.

    The tooth is thereafter restored with a permanent crown or tooth-colored filling. Following restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.

    Why Remove The Nerve?

    The whole point of a root canal treatment is to remove the infected nerve. When you require root canal treatment, it means there is an infection. An infected nerve is what causes you to feel the pain. Your dentist will need to remove the nerve so that the infection does not spread and so that you can have good oral health for years to come!

     

    What are the possible side effects of a Root Canal Therapy?

     

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    Following root canal therapy, the tooth tends to become brittle, which why it is important to complete the restoration with a dental crown to protect the tooth. Some post-op pain for a few days is normal following root canal treatment and pain medications will help alleviate this pain.

    Still nervous about root canal treatment? We hope not. Root canal treatment is a medical procedure that will allow you to retain your natural teeth instead of undergoing preventable extractions. It might just be what helps you keep your teeth safe, healthy, and pain-free for years to come.

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