Root canals may be needed to save a tooth that is infected, or to keep a tooth from being hypersensitive as a result of a deep cavity or if extensive drilling on the tooth is needed when placing on a crown. The nerve and blood supply have to be completely removed, and the conduits filled with a material called gutta-percha. With the root canal, the roots are numbed to allow the dentist to get rid of the affected nerve, remove any infection, and save the tooth.
If a tooth is not infected, the root canal can be completed in just one visit. However, if there is an active infection, the root canal, is usually completed in two visits. This is because it is necessary that all active infection be completely removed, and the bacteria dealt with before the tooth can be sealed up First the pulp and infected nerve tissue is removed, and the tooth conduits are medicated with an antibiotic. The patient is also given a prescription of oral antibiotics for a week. After the medication has done its work, the patient needs to return so the root canal can be finished, and a post and crown made.
Why could cause a tooth to hurt? Is a root canal always needed?
There are several causes of tooth pain, that may not require a root canal to fix. First is periodontal. If there is space between the teeth, when you chew food particles can get crammed up under the gum, this can cause pain and swelling, and even infection. One of the best ways to prevent this, is to learn to brush properly, stroking down from gum to the end of the tooth, rather than cross ways over the tooth surface. Also, a waterpik is great to blow all the crud from between the teeth.
Another cause of tooth pain could be because there is a high point on the crown or filling. Sometimes patients will complain of tooth pain, even after they had a root can treatment and a crown. Most likely, it is not a problem with the root canal. But rather the crown is a little high and needs a simple adjustment. The problem is, the high point may have been adjusted down when the crown was placed, but it stopped showing as a mark on the contact paper the dentist uses. The dentist will ask how it feels, but if the patient is not very patient, and tells the dentist it feels fine, even it really feels a little high, then the crown will stay a little high. This causes extra pressure on the tooth, and makes the ligaments get swollen. There are ligaments that hold the tooth to the jawbone, and when they get swollen, it can hurt almost exactly like when it needs a root canal. Solution? Just a simple adjustment. This same thing can happen when it is any new crown or when a filling is put in. Make sure your tooth really feels right when the dentist is doing the adjustment. When a mark isn’t left by the contact paper, if you say if feels good, the dentist can only go by what you say.
When a root canal is needed:
It is important that a qualified dentist does a root canal. At Dr Mexico dental, we only use a qualified endodontist specialist to do a root canal treatment. We don’t allow general dentists to do root canals. There is a good reason that to be a specialist, a dentist must continue with school for an additional two years. The training is needed to properly diagnose and treat a tooth with complications. Also, the conduit in the tooth must be cleaned out within specific parameters for the root canal to be successful, keeping infection from returning, or the tooth from fracturing. Some little clinics may try to save the money of calling in a specialist, and do the root canal with a general dentist, but they are risking problems down the road. at Dr Mexico dental, we want to get it right the first time.