Dental: Treatment of a canal
Once it has finished growing, the tooth no longer needs the pulp, except to alert its owner to infection. Dental…
Root Canal Treatment – 2022
Treatment of a canal
Root canal (endodontic) treatment is a procedure that consists in eliminating an infection or an inflammation of the dental pulp (“nerve” of the tooth), by the complete extirpation of this one. The two main conditions leading to root canal treatment are pulpitis and pulp necrosis.
By definition, pulpitis is an inflammation of the pulp. It is manifested by persistent pain with temperature changes (hot and cold food) or chewing. The pulpitis tooth can also erupt for no apparent reason. Pulpitis can set in when bacteria (present in cavities) manage to sneak into the pulp. The chances of developing pulpitis are therefore higher when a tooth is affected by a cavity or a deep restoration, near the pulp. More rarely, pulpitis can also set in following a blow or impact on a tooth.
When it is not treated in time, the tooth in pulpitis generally ends up necrosing. The tooth then loses its vitality. The blood circulation naturally present inside the pulp is replaced by necrotic (dead) tissue, which offers no defense to the bacteria which multiply there more easily. This is pulp necrosis (infected pulp).
The necrotic tooth is also manifested by twinges and/or pain when chewing, but without pain when hot or cold. Over time, the bacteria present in the necrotic pulp produce gases or pus, which will seek to escape towards the end of the root (in the direction of the bone). Swelling may then appear. We are then at the stage of the dental abscess.
Here is, in summary, the steps of a root canal treatment:
- The dentist uses local anesthesia to avoid any pain during the treatment.
- To prevent bacteria in your saliva from coming into contact with your tooth during treatment, he places a rubber dam around the tooth.
- He makes a small opening in the treated tooth to access the canal and the damaged pulp.
- Using precision instruments, he removes the pulp by cleaning and widening the canal.
- Then it fills and seals the channel.
- Then, he closes the tooth with a temporary or permanent filling.
What to do after receiving root canal treatment?
Nothing beats a living, healthy tooth. Indeed, the prognosis for a living tooth is better than that of a devitalized tooth. However, a cavity or trauma can affect the vitality of a tooth. It is in this type of case that a root canal treatment must be carried out.
What is root canal treatment?
The tooth is made up of three elements: enamel, dentin and pulp. The pulp is composed of soft tissues and nerves that allow the development of the tooth; it is contained in a small channel. Once it has finished growing, the tooth no longer needs the pulp, except to alert its owner to infection. Indeed, a tooth whose pulp is affected is generally painful. Sometimes, however, the patient does not feel any discomfort.
When a cavity, crack or break damages the tooth, the pulp can be affected. The bacteria in the oral cavity then gain access to the nerves and create an infection, inflammation or abscess.
In this context, root canal treatment consists of drilling the tooth in order to access the pulp, remove it and treat the infected area. The endodontist or dentist will then plug the small canal with a small cement made of rubber called gutta-percha after carefully cleaning the canal.
Before intervening, the health professional will ensure that it is indeed a problem that affects the pulp. For this, he can test his sensitivity to shocks, hot and cold or even use radiography.
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