Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Go
Search posts:

What is Root Canal Treatment

Posted Dec 24 2008 3:12pm

 

Teeth are basically composed of the crown which is what you see above the gumline and the  root  below, which is approximately  twice   as long as the crown.  The  pulp  is a space inside which extends all the way down to the tip of the roots, which contains  blood vessels and nerves.  

The function of the pulp is to  nourish  the tooth and keep it vital. A root canal treatment is the removal of this pulp because it has become  infected  and  inflamed  (usually by decay) thereby causing discomfort.  

Often but not always there is an  abscess  present. Without treatment the infection can spread aggressively but with today’s modern dentistry and antibiotics, serious sequelaes are rare but still occur.  

Without treatment the infection 
can spread aggressively 
but with today’s modern 
dentistry and antibiotics, 
serious sequelaes are 
rare but still occur.
  

When it has been decided that a root canal treatment will be performed, the tooth is well  anaesthetized  and isolated to keep saliva and  bacteria  out. The infected pulp is removed, cleaned and disinfected. This

empty space is then filled with  gutta-percha,  a rubber-like material derived from a plant.   Occasionally,  silver points may be used instead of gutta-percha. In the past, treatment consisted of several appointments but today many are done in one visit depending on the preference of the dentist since some teeth have one canal while others like molars can have four or more canals. 

In the past, treatment consisted of several appointments but today many are done in one visit depending on the preference of the dentist since some teeth have one canal while others like molars can have four or more canals. 

Sometimes due to the complexity of some canal systems, a specialist (an  endodontist ) may be required. After the gutta-percha is placed the crown portion of the tooth is restored with a filling. Your dentist will often recommend that the tooth be capped  (crowned)  for strength protection since the blood flow that existed and kept the tooth from drying up is now replaced with artificial material.  

As a result, this tooth becomes more prone to fractures. Furthermore, these teeth have usually lost a great deal of structure due to decay and a crown is the best solution. 

Sometimes a front tooth may discolor but this is of no medical concern, however a cap will correct this. If a crown is deemed unnecessary, internal bleaching can help reverse the color change. 

Finally the good news is that these teeth can continue to function as long as any other vital tooth. Root canal treatments have around a 90-95% success rate, which are pretty good odds for most medical treatment.

 

Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches