Root Canal Treatment
Canal treatment is used when dental pulp (nerve and vein tissue inside) is irreversibly damaged or infected due to deep cavities and traumas. Cavity tissue, if there is any, is cleaned as well as channels, shaped and then filled under local anesthesia. The procedure is completed in several sessions based on the infection at the root ends.
When to use canal treatment?
In cases when;
• cavities reach the dental nerve
• fractures cover dental nerve as a result of a trauma
• teeth lose their vitality as a result of extreme force in orthodontic treatment and
• for advanced gingival diseases and
• for eliminating the dental sensitivity that appear as a result of extreme abrasion
How can one decide to perform canal treatment?
• If the tooth is sensitive to hot and cold, which does not disappear immediately
• If there is spontaneous pain in the daytime without any stimulus
• If you feel pain during and after eating
• If there is a dental color change due to dead pulp
• If there is swelling due to abscess and
• In some specific situations (such as cysts, if crowns should be cut to size)
How is it performed?
• First of all, anesthesia is applied for a pain free operation
• Cavity is cleaned or the broken pieces are removed and the dentist reaches nerves
• Nerves and tissues in the root are cleaned
• X-ray is used to identify root canal size or canal size is determined using special equipment
• Root canal is shaped till the root end
• Number of sessions depends on the teeth. Only one or a couple of sessions might be necessary for the treatment
• Medical dressing is performed in between the sessions to heal inner root and root end
• Canal’s inside is filled till the root end with special material at the last stage of canal treatment
• Patients do not feel any pain during root canal treatment as they are anesthetized. A mild pain and sensitivity during chewing might be felt after the treatment but it will disappear in 15 days. A pain killer might be used post treatment for a couple of days.
The difference between canal filling and dental filling
Root canal is cleaned and filled in canal filling while for dental filling, the tooth is restored through composite fillers or crowns based on the damage in the crown which is the visible part of the tooth.
Vulnerability after root canal treatmentAs tooth loses its vitality due to canal treatment, it becomes more vulnerable in time. As teeth lose tissue and become more vulnerable due to canal treatment, crowns might be preferred after the treatment.
The necessity for tooth extraction that stems from dental inflammationNowadays, the majority of abscess at the root end can be treated using different material and techniques and therefore there is no need for extraction. Tooth is only extracted when infection cannot be controlled or tooth and jaw relation is extremely spoiled.
Renewal of the root canal treatmentSuccess rate of the canal treatment is 90 – 95% when performed correctly and in a sterile environment. The treatment can fail as microorganisms would infiltrate in the canal if the canal is not sufficiently enlarged or shaped, root canal filling or upper filling is not performed well and when perforations or fractures emerge during the treatment. In case of a failure, patients might feel pain during chewing, spontaneous pain and abscess in the root end that never disappears. The failed canal treatment is renewed. If this is not, dentists reach the root end surgically by apical resection, clean the infection and close the area. Tooth extraction should be considered if renewal of canal treatment or surgical operation does not work.