Root canal treatment is the treatment of removing the sensory nerve in the infected decaying tooth and replacing it with permanent materials. The main task of the sensory nerve is to perceive heat, cold and pain. It has no functions. However, as a result of inflammation in the tooth, it causes the patient to feel pain.
There is a misconception about root canal treatment among the public. Since the nerve inside the tooth is removed, it is said that the tooth will be completely lost after a while. The sensory nerve is not related to the root of the tooth. For this reason, you should definitely not be afraid of being treated and you should have this treatment if your doctor recommends it.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Toothaches greatly affect social and work life negatively. Serious diseases such as leukemia can occur in cases of progressive inflammation and caries. For this reason, dental caries must be intervened in the early period. This treatment technique is based on the removal of the nerve that serves as the sensory nerve.
Why is Root Canal Treatment Done?
As a result of caries and inflammation, the sensory nerve sends a pain signal to the brain cells. As a result of this signal, severe and life-threatening pain occurs. It is treated to eliminate toothache and prevent inflammation. It is a treatment that should be applied to improve the patient’s quality of life and to prevent the loss of teeth completely.
How is the root canal treated?
Local anesthesia is applied before the procedure. Anesthesia may not be needed, considering that the nerve of the decayed tooth is dead. However, it should be applied as the first step for the patient to relax. After anesthesia, the tooth is carved around to access the root nerve. To prevent saliva and fluid accumulation in this area, the tooth is surrounded by plastic. The root of the tooth becomes accessible through the drilled hole. Decayed tissues, nerves and all infected tissue in this area are removed. Canal files should be applied until the infection is completely removed. The pulp of the tooth should be completely removed. In order to reduce the patient’s pain, the opened space must be thoroughly cleaned.
In which situations is root canal therapy applied?
Root canal treatment is applied to patients who come to dentists with certain complaints. If we list the cases where this treatment technique is preferred;
Occurrence of deep caries on the nerve or pulp of the tooth
Fracture, cracking, impact on the face, and bacterial settlement in the root canal
Bacteria and decayed tooth residues causing a dental abscess
Patients with swelling in the face and neck area due to toothache
If you are experiencing any of these situations, you should consult a dentist for treatment. Otherwise, health problems that may cause tooth and palate loss occur.
How Long Does Root Canal Treatment Take?
The duration of treatment varies according to the patient. The teeth structure of each patient and the degree of infection in their teeth are not the same. The criteria that are effective in determining the duration of treatment vary according to the number of roots in the tooth, the degree of infection and pain in the root canals. Generally speaking, it takes about 90 minutes including the anesthesia procedure. However, in some cases, treatment should not be done on the same day. Canal is cleaned first then another appointment is made for a different day. During this period, filling is applied to the cavity so that the tooth root is not re-infected. This area should be protected until the treatment is completely done. Pressure should not be applied on the filling while eating and drinking.
Tooth restoration may be required in patients with excessive tooth decay. In such cases, detailed information is given to the patient before the procedure. The treatments that should be done and planned are explained. Root canal treatment is continued until the function and aesthetics of the tooth are fully established. Combined treatments are not suitable for all patients.
Will There Be Pain After Root Canal Treatment?
Caries and inflammation in the teeth of patients may cause pain. Root canal application is considered to be a very painful procedure. However, this treatment technique, like the filling process, is painless and performed under anesthesia. It is normal to have tenderness in the area of inflammation for the first 2 days after the procedure. You can relieve this pain by using mild pain relievers. Local anesthesia is used during the treatment so there is no feeling of pain.
Things to Consider After Root Canal Treatment
Generally, there are some points to be considered in order to shorten the recovery time and prevent the development of complications after root canal treatment. After the procedure, dental floss should be used at least once a day regularly. Foods that stick to the teeth and are high in sugar should not be consumed. Brushing should be done with the right technique for at least 2 minutes 3 times a day. Painkillers and sprays prescribed by the doctor should be used regularly. Hot and cold drinks should be consumed with caution in the first week. Substances that will adversely affect the healing process, such as alcohol and cigarettes, should not be consumed.
What are the Alternatives to Root Canal Treatment?
Bridge and implant treatments are alternative treatments to the root canal treatment technique. The basis of dental treatment is the protection of one’s own tooth. As long as it’s possible, one’s own teeth are not touched. The success rate of the canal technique is 95%. The teeth, which are fixed by placing suitable material in the root canal, can be used for a lifetime without any problems. In this way, both speech and chewing functions are preserved.
How to Prevent Root Canal Treatment?
The most effective and first way to prevent tooth and gum diseases is to pay attention to oral hygiene. Teeth should be brushed 3 times a day after eating and the inside of the cheek and tongue should be cleaned as well. Bacteria accumulate and multiply in the mouth. For this reason, it is important to clean the tongue and cheeks correctly in order to clean the roots of the teeth. Examination using imaging techniques is recommended at 6-month intervals in the first 2 years.
Imaging techniques are essential for accurate and complete diagnosis. Caries on the visible and invisible surfaces of the teeth are detected. Toothpaste alone is not enough to neutralize the bacteria in the mouth. Therefore, mouthwash can be used. The main causes of tooth and gum diseases are the frequent use of substances such as alcohol and cigarettes for a long time, the frequent consumption of foods with high sugar content, the preference of drinks such as tea and coffee that discolor teeth and damage the tooth enamel, not cleaning the teeth regularly and using wrong tooth brushing techniques.
Apart from the situations we have listed, dental diseases can also develop genetically. Different techniques are applied to patients with genetic problems. However, with the early detection of caries, root canal treatment can be applied to these patients.
Things to Know Before Root Canal Treatment
There are some issues that patients should know and pay attention to before treatment. Hard and crusty foods should not be consumed between the sessions. No food or drink should be taken between sessions. Before the treatment, you can consult your doctor and ask what you should and should not do. All patients with toothache and inflammation in their teeth may not be suitable for the root canal treatment. The specialist dentist decides who will have root canal treatment after making the necessary checks. The most important mistake known among the public about this treatment technique is that the tooth will be completely lost after the nerves are removed. Since root canal treatment is applied with the aim of using one’s own tooth for life, this information is completely wrong.
For detailed information about root canal treatment stages, watch our ‘how to root canal treatment’ video.