Root Canal Treatment

What You Need to Know About Root Canal Treatment

The term root canal can be scary for those who have no idea what it really is. It need not be a horror story when you go under the procedure. After all, you will be under anesthesia. You may think you feel something because you hear some tinkering but really, with the right amount of anesthesia, there is nothing to worry about especially if a Makati dentist is handling you.

Root canal treatment is the removal of the tooth’s pulp, a small, thread-like tissue in the center of the tooth. Once the damaged, diseased or dead pulp is removed, the remaining space is cleaned, shaped and filled. This procedure seals off the root canal. Years ago, teeth with diseased or injured pulps were removed. Today, root canal treatment saves many teeth that would otherwise be lost.
You’re treated and restored tooth/teeth can last a lifetime with proper care. Because tooth decay can still occur in treated teeth, good oral hygiene and regular dental exams are necessary to prevent further problems.

As there is no longer a pulp keeping the tooth alive, root-treated teeth can become brittle and are more prone to fracture. This is an important consideration when deciding whether to crown or fill a tooth after root canal treatment.

To determine the success or failure of root canal treatment, the most relied-upon method is to compare new X-rays with those taken prior to treatment. This comparison will show whether bone continues to be lost or is being regenerated.

A General Idea How Root Canal Treatment is Done

There are generally two appointments in the span of two weeks. The first appointment starts with opening the tooth, taking out the nerve, cleaning it out, disinfecting the canals (some teeth have more than one) and putting temporary dressing. The second appointment, the gutta percha is inserted, making sure there are no gaps, then the composite filling is applied. A crown is optionally capped on the tooth for extra strength since the tooth that has undergone root canal treatment is more brittle.

What are the common reasons why one would not want to undergo root canal treatment despite the need and what solutions can be done?

Reason #1: It is painful.

A person undergoing root canal treatment is also under anesthesia. Local anesthesia is usually enough to ensure there is no pain. However, when the tooth aches already in the first place, because of abscess, the infection is what is causing the pain, hence, it should be treated first so that the anesthesia will work fine. Sometimes, sedation is also a solution when local anesthesia cannot work. The second appointment is also numbed even when there is no pain so that the whole process will be comfortably painless for a longer time.

Preventing pain is easier than make pain go away when it starts so it is better to take a pain killer before the anesthesia wears off. It is normal to have pain when biting when the anesthesia wears off. It is a natural side effect after a root canal treatment because of a bit of material that is infected that has been pushed out the end of the canal and into that very small space between the tooth and the socket which causes local inflammation. Taking anti-inflammatory drug will manage the pain which will disappear around 48 hours.

Reason #2: Root canal has failed the first time.

It is easier to do root canal treatment on the front teeth than those at the back. Not only are the front teeth more accessible, each tooth has one canal only and is wider than those at the back. The back teeth are more difficult to reach and each tooth has 3 or more canals.

There is always a first time for certain procedures. Some dentists handle procedures that are too difficult for them. If you have a painful experience the first time, it may be that the dentist who handled your root canal treatment lacked the experience.

To avoid the failure you experienced the first time, ask your dentist in Makati some pertinent questions. The answers can guide you with your decision-making.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How painful is root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment is not painful if it’s done under proper anesthetics. But sometimes, if the tooth has been inflamed for a long time and even the bone around the tooth has started to decay due to the bacteria, the anesthetics might not work properly. It’s because of the acid environment the inflammation causes and the fact, that the solution of anesthetics can’t dissolve in an acid environment, therefor can’t give the proper level of numbness. But it’s only possible to feel something on the first visit, when they’re taking out the nerve. The following treatments (if further visits are needed) should be pain-free. Also, there has been some research, that if You are very much afraid of the dentist, Your body produces more of the chemical, which might not let the anesthetics to work, so be as calm as possible and trust Your doctor. :)

2. What are the things I should expect?

There maybe still some numbness on the area where anesthesia is applied. The time anesthesia is worn-off, pain is expected to feel. That is why your dentist will give you pain medication. Regular activities can be resume but restricted to lifting or any strenuous activities that will increase blood flow.

Chewing  hard or even soft food should be avoided on the affected part.

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Dr. Axel Trecho Gerochi is the head dentist of Gerochi Dental and Implant Center, a dedicated group of dentists in Makati, specializing in dental implants and other major dental procedures. We aim to give everyone confidence by realizing the natural smile they ever wanted.

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