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When and Why Do You Need a Root Canal Treatment?

Root Canal Therapy

" Mrs. Williams, you need a root canal treatment for your tooth." 
Have you also heard similar words from your dentist? Most probably, yes. The RCT is a very popular dental treatment that saves your natural tooth and restores your beautiful smile.

According to the American Association of Endodontists, around 40,000 people in America undergo RCT every day.

What exactly does a root canal treatment do? Why and when would anyone require one? Let's try to understand everything about it.

What is a Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal therapy is a dental treatment performed to remove the infected pulp and the root nerve of the tooth.

Space is then filled and the tooth is covered with a crown to restore normal functioning. The procedure saves the tooth whose infection has spread to its root.

Which Doctor Performs Root Canal

Dentists receive training in all sorts of treatments during their studies. However, an Endodontist has advanced training and specialization in RCT. All dentists can do it, but they refer the more complex cases to an Endodontist. 

When do you need an RCT?

Root Canal Treatment is required in severe cases when the infection has spread to the inside of the tooth. There is a soft tissue present inside the teeth called the pulp.

When the pulp is infected or inflamed, endodontic treatment becomes necessary.

In cases where only the outer cover of the teeth has cavities, they can be cleaned and filled. However, if not addressed in time, the infection spreads to the "endo" region, the base nerves and pulp. 

Apart from this, in cases of accidents or injuries, a severe impact can inflame and damage the pulp as well. 

What are the symptoms of RCT?

These are a few of the symptoms that indicate treating the root canal:

  1. Pain while eating. The toothaches when you bite or munch. 
  2. Persistent pain. The toothaches all the time. The pain seems to go deep down. Also, the pain increases when you lie down or tilt your head.
  3. Sensitivity. When the pulp is inflamed, your teeth become sensitive to heat and cold. Especially when you drink a hot or chilled beverage, there is an unnerving painful sensation in the affected area. 
  4. Inflamed gums. Swelling, pain, darkening, or bumps on the gums indicate issues down below. Many a time, root canal treatment is required to remove infections that are affecting the gums.

What Are the Things That Cause Root Canals?

Endodontic problems are painful occurrences that can destroy the tooth if not addressed in time. Cavities and decay take a long time to penetrate the inner core of the teeth, even years.

If you are particular about your dental hygiene, cleanliness, and regular treatment, chances are the problem is tackled on the surface only.

There are warning signs that appear months before an RCT becomes imperative. 

However, certain occurrences make the procedure more likely:

Ignoring Thorough Cleansing

If you want your pearls to be healthy, strong, and original, maintain strict vigilance over the cleansing process. Brush and floss at least twice a day, especially at bedtime.

Keeping your mouth clear of food particles restricts the growth of bacteria that convert into plaque.

Flossing flushes out lodgings in between two teeth that are not possible to clean with a brush.

The bacteria make colonies and can penetrate even the hardest surfaces.

Avoiding Regular Visits to the Dentist

A visit to the dentist every six months is mandatory. But believe it, people dread going to the dentist for no reason. On the other hand, it is beneficial in the long run.

No matter how much you brush and floss, over some time you get plaque and tartar deposits.

That's why scaling is important every few months. It smoothens the roots and securely attaches gums to the teeth. 

At Kirkland Premier Dentistry, we perform a thorough checkup to spot early signs of infection and gum issues that you cannot know by yourself.

Chronic Gum Disease

It takes a long time before any disease attacks the soft pulp that is the blood and life of the tooth.

Gum diseases if left untreated for long, turn into periodontal as well as endodontic disorders.

Any bleeding or discoloration of gums should not be ignored and treated fast. It could spread its legs below the surface.

Tooth Decay

When the tooth starts decaying and is unnoticed, it penetrates inside and infects the root canal. This is the most common cause of endodontic problems.

Disease and Trauma

Oral infections, direct injury, and multiple or large fillings are frequent risk factors of pulp inflammation. If it is accompanied by pain, your dentist will diagnose and recommend an RCT if needed.

Lastly

If you see any of the above symptoms, visit the dental clinic near you offering comprehensive treatments, and check if there is a weekend appointment available.

Author
Dr. Sheena Gaur Dr. Sheena Gaur Dr. Sheena Gaur, DDS, is a general family dentist at Kirkland Premier Dentistry in Kirkland, Washington. She specializes in preventive and restorative dentistry, crowns, bridges, extractions, and cosmetic dentistry, including veneers and Invisalign® treatments.

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