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Root Canal: When and Why It Is Necessary

dentist looking operating on a patient

Root canal infection is a fairly common dental issue. General dentists can treat it, but endodontists, who have a specialization in root canal treatments, are usually preferred by patients. Durham Dental Centres provides dental services like teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry, root canal treatments and orthodontics. Read our blog to learn more about cosmetic dentistry.

All teeth have root canals, which are the extensions of the pulp chamber that exists at the center of the teeth. Root canal infection is the infection of the dental pulp that exists within the pulp chamber, which is a soft substance consisting of nerve, blood vessels and connective tissues. When there is inflammation or infection inside the root canal, treatment becomes necessary to save the infected tooth. The treatment involves removing the infected pulp, disinfecting and cleaning the affected area and filling the hole up. Pain is the most obvious symptom of root canal infection. If the affected tooth's nerves and tissue are still active, the patient will experience heightened sensitivity to hot and cold foods. Sensitivity to heat is usually a powerful indicator of root canal inflammation. The pain will be spontaneous, vary in intensity throughout the day and not be restricted to when the patient is eating or drinking. In advanced cases, the pain can cause severe headaches. If the tooth is not alive, the pain is generally restricted to times when there is pressure on the tooth. A dead tooth that has root canal infection may not show swelling, but if there is any swelling in the cheek or jaw accompanied by pain, emergency treatment is necessary. Causes of root canal infection are: · Deep cavity Tooth decay that extends into the pulp canal can spread the infection to the nerves and tissues and cause them to decay as well. · Dental trauma Injury to the tooth may sometimes cause the vital nerve to be severed at the end of the root and die. Dental trauma may happen immediately following the incident or take years. Traumatic injury to the tooth can also chip or crack the tooth, which exposes the underlying nerves and tissues leading to infection. · Resorption It is not completely clear why resorption occurs. It could be related to dental trauma, tooth replantation or excessive stress on the teeth from orthodontic treatment. It causes the tooth structure to dissolve and can start outside the tooth and move inwards (external root resorption) or start inside and move outwards (internal root resorption). Both types of resorption can invade the pulp canal and affect the nerves and tissue contained inside. · Repeated dental procedures Dental procedures that involve drilling, carried out on the same tooth repeatedly, may cause the pulp inside to become inflamed. During the procedure, there is also a chance of fracturing the tooth itself, which leaves the pulp exposed to infectious bacteria. The nerves and tissue inside the tooth are not necessary for the tooth to function correctly. They only provide a sense of heat and cold. So removing the affected pulp entirely through root canal treatment will allow the tooth to function as it should. Without root canal treatment, the only option is to remove the tooth. However, once the tooth is removed, it has to be replaced with an artificial one to prevent your other teeth from shifting out of line, which could cause jaw problems. So to avoid having to replace your natural tooth with an artificial one and to save yourself from problems arising from it, it is necessary to undergo root canal treatment. The infection will continue to grow and infect the bone that the infected tooth is attached to if the abscess is not removed. There is medication available to stop the infection from spreading, but the surest way is to remove the infection at its source through root canal treatment. Chronic toothaches or oral swelling must not be left unchecked. Any of the above symptoms must be taken as a sign of infection and addressed right away. Durham Dental Centre has expert dentists who can perform any dental procedure. Contact us today to book an appointment for root canal treatment.


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