Root Canal is a treatment used to repair a tooth which is badly damaged or infected. Root Canal procedure involves removing of the damaged nerve and the pulp of the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting it and then finally filling and sealing it. The common reasons for the damage in the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma. The term “root canal” comes from the disinfecting canals inside the root of the tooth. The success rate of root canal procedure is as high as 95%.
What to expect during a root canal?
There are a number of steps involved in a root canal surgery:
- X-Ray: If a dentist feels that there is a need for root canal, he would first take the X-ray to examine where exactly the damage in the tooth is located.
- Anesthesia: in the second step a local anesthesia is given to the affected tooth.
- Pulpectomy: An opening in the tooth is made and the damaged tooth is repaired or removed.
- Filling: The roots are then filled up with gutta-percha which is a natural polymer prepared from the latex of percha tree and finally sealed off with cement.
Recovery tips after root canal treatment:
After the root canal surgery you must follow your dentist’s instructions. Proper care is necessary to maintain a healthy mouth. Some of the recovery tips to follow after root canal treatment are as follows:
- The filling may break: If the temporary filling that has been placed losses its seal, coronal leakage may occur. This is a very serious complication that can lead to root canal treatment failure. This is the reason that the final restoration of the tooth should be arranged as soon as possible with the dentist.
- Take your prescriptions as directed: The infected tooth can be very painful therefore it is very necessary to take the prescribed medicines or antibiotics (if any) as directed by the dentist in order to prevent any further infection.
- Pay attention to your pain levels: To help you avoid any after treatment soreness, your dentist may recommend usage of anti inflammatory medicine such as Advil or any other type of pain reliever. Most of the time people experience pain only for a shorter duration of time but if your healing is characterized by the pain which is difficult to tolerate, contact your dentist immediately.
- Maintain the proper oral home care: The tooth and the gums where your root canal treatment is done should be kept clean. The proper oral care is required in order to prevent your tooth from further infection. This can be done by brushing and flossing your teeth and gently rinsing your mouth.
- The tooth may break: Until and unless your dentist finishes the entire rebuilding of your tooth, it should be considered fragile. Slight ignorance can lead to the failure of entire root canal treatment and may lead to the breaking of the fragile tooth.
- Do not put pressure on the infected tooth: After the root canal your tooth must be very tender as a result you should avoid putting too much pressure on it through grinding or clenching of jaw.
- Chew food from other side of the mouth: Many a times the ligaments surrounding the treated tooth may get swollen or become sensitive to touch. This can cause discomfort in chewing the food. As a result it is suggested that you should chew from the other side of the mouth where you did not get root canal treatment.
- Avoid certain foods: Hard, crunchy or chewy food should be avoided for few days’ right after the root canal treatment. Also the tooth may be sensitive to very cold and very hot food as it is in the healing process. Therefore it is suggested to have mild food.
- Consider getting a crown for your tooth: The tooth which has undergone root canal will become more intact if a crown is placed on it. This crown can also prevent further complication and may be more functional.
If you still fell concerned or have questions about your root canal treatment, do contact your dentist. You may experience some pain and discomfort after your root canal treatment but it will subside within a few days. Make sure to follow the above tips and instructions given by your dentists, you will be back to normal very soon.
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