Deep caries can cause inflammation of the nerves in the root canal. In addition, in broken teeth as a result of an accident, bacteria can get into the tooth. If the inflammation is not treated, the bacteria can spread further into the surrounding tissue through the root tip.
In such cases, root canal treatment is usually required. In root canal treatment, the dentist cleans and fills the finely branched canals.
When is root canal treatment required?
Root canal treatment is often the last resort for an infected or damaged tooth. And the treatment effect lasts for many years. Root canal treatment can heal the tooth root without surgery. Root canal treatment may be preferable in cases such as:
Tooth root inflammation
Bacteria attack the tooth material and, if not retained in time, reach the inside of the tooth and the root of the tooth. Undetected or untreated cavities often lead to tooth root inflammation. Root canal treatment can save an infected tooth.
Root treatment can also be done prior to the placement of a dental crown or bridge. If the dentist needs to remove most of the tooth tissue, the pulp is partially or completely exposed. The bacteria can now easily penetrate the tooth root and cause inflammation. To prevent this possible inflammation, the dentist usually removes the dental pulp completely. As a result, the crown or dental bridge are attached for longer.
How long does root canal treatment take at the dentist?
The treatment session takes approximately 60 minutes but may vary. The actual duration of treatment depends on your individual situation. First of all, it depends on whether you are undergoing initial or revision therapy. The revision treatment already includes teeth with root canal treatment and insufficient root filling. The treatment technique and instruments used also have an influence on the duration of treatment. Additional factors are the rates of inflammation and repair, and the diligence of the dentist.
In most cases, one session will not be enough to remove caries, clean the root canals and fill the empty tooth. On average, two treatment visits (separate from the diagnostic visit) are required.
How is the root canal treatment process?
The dentist usually explains the possible risks and consequences before performing the procedure. If the dental nerve (pulp) is still active, that is, has not died yet, local anesthesia is administered. Thanks to this, the patient does not feel pain during root canal treatment. The tooth is now drilled into the dental nerve, the nerve is removed and the canals are rinsed with a disinfectant solution. In this way, bacterias nested in the walls are destroyed. The doctor cleans the inside of the tooth with tools.
X-rays are taken during root canal treatment to assess the length of the tooth and the condition of the treatment. If the inflammation does not progress significantly, the tooth can be closed with a dense filling material in the first treatment session. Treatment may require several visits for resistant infections. In such cases, medications are applied to the tooth between visits.
After completing this procedure, a crown is usually placed on the treated root, which provides long-term protection despite material loss. How long the healing phase will take depends on the condition of the tooth before treatment. The root canal treatment itself can take up to three hours.
What should I pay attention to after root canal treatment?
There is usually no pain after the root canal treatment. Advances in modern dentistry now allow for a largely painless root canal treatment. Local anesthesia adjusted to the patient ensures that the sensitive area of the tooth does not cause any painful sensations from the very beginning. However, if the patient experiences pain during treatment, the dentist will stop treatment immediately and adjust the anesthesia accordingly. If all areas of the tooth up to the root apex are thoroughly cleaned of bacteria and the tooth is sealed, it will not cause any discomfort after treatment.
The doctor and patient will thoroughly discuss how to proceed in the event of care. It is recommended to avoid hot food and drinks while the anesthetic is still working. Under anesthesia, the temperature can be misunderstood and may cause minor burns to the mouth. Once the anesthetic has stopped working, you can eat and drink normally.
If the patient is healthy and exercises normally, physical activity immediately after the root canal treatment will not hurt. However, the sauna, solarium and direct sunlight should be avoided. After treatment, the infected tooth is closed with a bacterial-resistant filling. However, this coating is not as stable as healthy teeth, so hard foods like nuts should be avoided.