Root filling, root canal treatment
The reasons for a root canal treatment
A root canal treatment may be needed if a deep cariosis approaches or reaches the pulp chamber, which contains nerves and blood vessels, thus leading to an occasional pulpitis. If the dental caries is of such a large size that the pain cannot be relieved by simply filling the crown or the restoration of the tooth is impossible, the treatment options include either root canal therapy/filling or having the tooth removed. The objective of the root canal therapy is to conserve the tooth which can further maintain its esthetic and masticatory functions. Avoiding the replacement of the tooth is vital since such a procedure results in the loss of material of adjacent teeth.
Apart from the above mentioned deep cariosis, another reason for root therapy is a need for a very large filling. Since blood does not circulate in a necrosed tooth, the risk of a bacterial infection in the tooth substance is higher. Inflamed teeth may lead to a number of other problems like rash, alopecia, myocarditis, occular and urological inflammations. Pulpitis may also be caused by a chronic gingival atrophy when there is not enough bone to cover the tooth at the tooth neck or can be the result of an injury to the tooth.
The symptoms of pulpitis:
- pain, either spontaneous or set off by hot, cold, or by chewing
- often the pain will linger for at least several minutes after eating or drinking something hot or cold
- a tooth may also hurt and not be affected by either hot or cold, escpecially at night
- severe pain
- swelling of the gum near a tooth or swelling of your face
Examination prior to root canal treatment and the procedure
The procedure is always preceded by a comprehensive examination including an X-ray. If the X-ray reveals an inflammation around the root apex, root canal treatment is still an option but in this case a check-up is necessary in six months following the treatment. Regardless of the cause of the treatment, the procedure is always the same. After local anesthetic, the dentist drills into the tooth to remove infected materials. Each root canal is opened by sterile pins and the dentist removes the blood vessels together with the nerves while continuously cleansing the wound to eliminate the risk of a bacterial infection. Further X-ray examinations reveal when the pin reaches the root apex. When filling the canals, it is essential to seal them hermetically by using the most up to date filling materials. The root canal treatment is typically performed in one dental appointment. Yet, if the tooth is necrosed, special medicine is placed in the canals to reduce bacterial infections. In this case the canals are capped by a temporary seal and the permanent filling is placed during a second session.
Following root canal treatment, the teeth may be sensitive to masticatory pressure for a few days. Since blood circulation is eliminated in the teeth treated, they dry out and get cracked more easily than before. To prevent their fracture, placing a crown is recommended. Root canal treatment is not always possible in the case of extra canals (multirooted teeth) or irregularly positioned roots.The price of root canal fillings depends on the number of canals treated.