Teeth have a central cavity in them which house the nerves and the blood vessels. They are responsible for the sensation of the teeth and also provide them with the required nourishment. Endodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of root canal infections. Dr. Roland Elazegui is a well experienced dentist and has handled hundreds of root canal surgeries over his long spanning career.
What causes a root canal infection?
- Cavities: The most common cause of a root canal infection is cavities. Improper brushing and excessive consumption of sugary foods leads to the build up of a film of bacteria on the teeth. Over time, it forms plaque and tartar, which lead to the erosion of the enamel and form cavities. Cavities can severely infect the pulp and even spread the infection to the adjoining teeth, gums and the jawbone as well.
- Injuries: External trauma to the mouth could crack or fracture the teeth. When they aren’t treated or restored properly, the microbes on the teeth can enter the root canal through the cracks and infect the pulp.
- Large Fillings: When there are large fillings on the teeth, such as inlays, there are chances of re-infecton of the cavity.
- Excruciating pain in the infected tooth
- Bleeding and release of pus from the tooth and the surrounding gums
- Formation of an abscess
- Loosening of the tooth from the socket
- Pain and tenderness of the gums
What is the significance of a root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy is a last resort treatment which is only used when no other procedure helps to arrest the infection and restore the tooth to its optimum health. The chances of a badly infected tooth getting healed on its own are next to none and would undoubtedly require a root canal therapy. Failing to get it done would spread the infection down to the roots and eventually to the jawbones as well. This poses a high risk of chronic gum infection and loss of teeth.
How is a root canal therapy performed?
The main aim of the therapy is removing the infected pulp from the tooth and restoring it to its original state as much as possible. Local anaesthesia would be administered to numb the area around the tooth and a relaxant may be used to calm the patient.
A small hole would be made on the tooth and the infected pulp will be extracted. The walls of the cavity will be scrubbed thoroughly to remove any residue and to get rid of the microbes. Medication may be introduced into the cavity to arrest the spread of the infection. A filling material will be used to cover the hole. Usually, a crown will be placed over it so that it stays intact and doesn’t crumble due to the application of forces while chewing or biting.
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