The tooth is made up of concentrated nerves, arteries and lymph vessels with hard outer shell that protects it. If the caries lesion penetrates this hard outer shell and reaches the vital pulp, this then causes pain. The pain comes from the pressure build up inside this vital pulp caused by products of inflammation and increase in size of the arteries. Sometimes a decayed tooth develops an abscess and this is the most common cause of a dental consult.
Other than this cause, sometimes it can also be caused by fractures, trauma or unknown cause of internal resorption.
Most common signs that you need a root canal treatment:
· Unprovoked pain
· Pain that lasts for seconds to minutes
· Pain when eating or biting
· Pain provoked with heat or cold
· Internally discolored tooth with history of trauma
If the tooth is not yet badly broken down by caries and if still supported by an adequate amount of bone, the dentists will recommend to save it with these few advantages:
· tooth replacement using an implant costs even more
· efficient chewing
· normal biting force and sensation
· Protects other teeth from excessive wear or stain
· Maintain natural smile
During the procedure, the tooth will first be anesthetized. The infected pulp will be accessed and removed. The root canal walls will be cleaned and disinfected. If the signs say that the root canal is already clean, it will then be sealed by a rubber like material called gutta percha. Depending on the amount of destruction, this will dictate the kind of restoration or if there is a need to use an endodontic post.
If the tooth is indicated for root canal treatment and it cannot be performed for some reasons, the next option would be tooth extraction. Although it is more affordable, the area of the extracted tooth still needs to be restored with a dental implant or a dental bridge. If not restored, the opposing teeth will supraerupt and bone might also lose its height and the adjacent teeth might drift or tilt. So if the tooth is still indicated for root canal treatment, it is still best to do so because restoring it will much more be expensive.
Author: Dr. Keneshia Tingson