Root Canal: What Is It, Diagnosis, Treatment, Precautions, Side-Effects & Recovery

root canal

What is a Root canal treatment?

First, let us understand what a root canal treatment is. Sometimes, the tooth encounters harmful bacteria that corrode the outermost surface of the teeth called enamel. If the bacteria continue to cause damage, they will eventually penetrate dentin and reach the pulp cavity that consists of blood vessels and nerves and cause severe damage. Root canal treatment (RCT) is a simple dental procedure wherein, the infected tooth pulp is removed, cleaned, and disinfected to avoid such situations. The person who performs RCT is called an Endodontist.

If you have prolonged tooth pain and swollen gums, you might require an RCT immediately.

What happens during the RCT?

Before the procedure, your endodontist will take an X-ray of the damaged teeth to assess the extent of severity. Later, a local anesthetic is given to numb the tooth and surrounding region so that you do not experience any pain. The healthcare provider then makes a small opening in the tooth to reach the infected pulp. Followed by, pulp removal, cleaning of the canal, and disinfection.

Once finished, the endodontist fills the canal with a rubbery material called gutta-percha and seals the tooth to prevent the re-entry of the bacteria. The final step is capping the sealed tooth. Here, the dentist would fix a customized crown made of metal, resin, or ceramic to protect the teeth and restore them to look like natural, healthy teeth.

The whole procedure might take 30 to 60 minutes, but in case of serious damage, it might extend to more than 1.5 hours

Precautions to take after the RCT:

  • Do not bite or chew on the treated tooth until full recovery 
  • Eat soft food, and avoid hard and sticky food until complete recovery
  • Go for regular follow-up visits
  • Brush, floss, and use mouthwash regularly 

Is my tooth supposed to hurt after the root canal treatment?

You would practically feel zero pain during the treatment because of the local anesthesia. However, once its effect starts wearing off, you might start feeling pain and discomfort in the now-treated tooth. You might also experience increased sensitivity in the surrounding region. These symptoms are completely normal and last for about 3 to 5 days after the procedure. 

Your healthcare provider might prescribe you a mild over-the-counter pain reliever to ease the discomfort. The overall recovery period is about a week long. 

However, if the pain and swelling last longer than a week, you might want to call your endodontist.

Can a Root Canal Treatment fail? If so, what are the signs?

Even though root canal treatments have a 95% success rate, there is a possibility of root canal failure if there were any cracks left in the root area. You should seek immediate help if any of the following happens even after the recovery period is over:

  • Pain in the treated tooth while chewing
  • swelling or tenderness in the gums surrounding the treated tooth
  • A pimple on the jaw
  • Pain in the tooth on applying pressure
  • A pus-filled abscess near the treated tooth

Getting a proper diagnosis for a failed RCT is crucial so that a proper remedy can be provided.

How to treat a failed root canal?

The best option with the highest success rate is re-treatment since disinfecting the canal can prevent painful symptoms. In some cases, the endodontist might perform an extraction or even an Apicoectomy wherein the root is accessed by cutting the gums. Either way, a failed root canal is completely treatable.

People used to associate root canal treatment with a lot of pain, but modern technology has made this procedure safe, easy, and pain-free to preserve the natural tooth. If you ever face any pain or discomfort in your teeth, you should seek medical help immediately. 

What is the best Hospital for Root Canal Treatment

City Dental Hospital

City Dental Hospital is a leading Dental Implant Clinic in Gujarat, India. We focus on providing the very best treatment & protocols for dental implant solutions, full smile makeovers, crowns & bridges almost all other specializations of dentistry with our expert team & facilities.

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