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Root Canal Treatment

Updated on February 16, 2017

Root Canal Treatment Steps

What are the Root Canal Treatment Steps?

1-Removing the infected/Inflamed root canal: The pulp tissues have been invaded by bacteria which comes from the dental caries. The pulp becomes infected, inflamed and necrotic. The dentist removes the infected root canal tissues.

2-Filling the root canal: After the canal is cleaned and all the infected pulp tissues are removed it is filled with an inert filling material.

3-Rebuilding the tooth: To get access to the root canals tooth crown is drilled. Some part of tooth is also removed for dental caries. To withstand the occlusal forces, the tooth is filled with a strong material in the crown portion.

4-Extra Support: In most cases, an extra support is necessary for the tooth to withstand the mechanical occlusal forces of mastication. This is achieved with a crown placement.


Do I really need a Root Canal Treatment?

The very important question is " Do I really need a Root Canal Treatment?"

The decision to perform root canal treatment depends on the signs and symptoms of the patient. It includes presence of severe pain, swelling, tooth is tender to percussion, pus discharge, sinus/fistula formation.

The final decision is being made by your dentists, but sometimes its a better idea to do your own research.

If you can see a dental caries in your tooth with no sign or symptom and your dentist insists for a root canal treatment; you might want to have a second opinion. Sometimes the dentists are very aggressive to recommend root canal treatment over filling because of various reasons. One of them is cost. Of course the dentist makes more money if you get root canal treatment done rather a simple filling.

Root canal treatment is done when the root is infected and inflamed to a point of no return. A stage at which a filling will only further complicate the situation. To do a successful filling there needs to be a significant amount of healthy tooth structure between the pulp and the filling material.

Dentists use radiographs to assess the propagation of dental caries towards the dental pulp. You can always ask for a copy of dental Xray for second opinion.

Rotary Endodontics

Rotary Root Canal Instruments have made single visit root canal treatment incredibly easier.
Rotary Root Canal Instruments have made single visit root canal treatment incredibly easier. | Source

Is it normal to have pain after root canal?

A very important question after Root Canal Treatment is " Is it normal to have pain after root canal?"

A lot of people thinks that after getting root canal treatment done they will not experience any pain. This is incorrect. After the root canal treatment a patient does not experience sensitivity to hot and cold stimulus but will experience pain.

Patients experience most pain after the first appointment of root canal cleaning of infected pulp. Just like any other part of the body, the dental pulp was a living tissue. Once infected it is removed surgically with the help of dental files. Dentists prescribe analgesics for the pain (usually non-narcotic analgesics) which is sufficient. NSAIDs( Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) are the drugs of choice.

Single Visit Root Canal Treatment-Source : Dr Ali Edalat

Root Canal Treatment under Sedation

Sleep is a physiologic, Sedation is pharmacologic.

Sedation Dentistry is a current trend in dentistry specially for complicated dental procedures.

Dentistry uses pharmacologic sedation techniques to improve the quality of dental treatment due to the following reasons:

-Previous negative dental experience (often as a child)

-Phobia of Dental Drill (Sound)

-Involuntary movement of head or neck (Dyslexia)

-Failure to tolerate rubber dam (Very sensitive Gag-Reflex)

-Limited mouth opening (Trismus)

-Complicated Medical History

-Complicated Dental procedure

There are three different levels of sedation.

1-Conscious Sedation

2-Deep Sedation

3-General Anesthesia

In conscious sedation the patient is awake but calm. This can be achieved with a pill of benzodiazapenes given few hours before procedure or Nitrous Oxide gas (Laughing gas) during procedure.

In Deep Sedation, patient experiences twilight sleep. This is achieved by using IV drugs.

In General Anesthesia, patient is completely unaware of the surrounding.

Although the more sedated the patient, the more comfortable the dental treatment becomes; both for the patient and dentist. But keep in mind that Sedation Dentistry do hold its fair share of complications.

Root Canal Treatment Procedure Duration

What is the root canal treatment procedure duration?

The various steps of root canal treatment (mentioned above) can be completed in "n" number of visits.

There are two trends in dentistry.

1-Single visit root canal treatment.

2-Multi visit root canal treatment.

A multi-visit root canal treatment can be done is two visits or "n" number of visits depending on dentist availability, time, patients willingness and costs.

Current literature suggests that there is no clinical advantage of Single visit or Multi visit Root canal treatment over each other. Both types of Root Canal Treatment shows equally effective post operative results.

As mentioned before, the number of visits depends on dentist and patients preferences.

Single Visit vs Multi Visit Root Canal Treatment

Would you prefer Single Visit or Multi visit Root Canal Treatment?

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