When your tooth gets badly decayed or infected, it can be repaired with the help of Root Canal Treatment (RCT). During this procedure, the infected nerve or pulp are removed and then the tooth is cleaned and shaped from inside tooth roots and then sealed with a medicated material. If not treated on time, the tissues surrounding the tooth also get infected and an abscess may develop. Thus, getting root canal treatment on time is very crucial for people who have an infected or grossly decayed tooth.
In general, a root canal is the term used for the natural cavity present within the tooth center. The soft area within the root canal is the pulp or pulp chamber. Apart from the pulp, the root canal is also home to the tooth’s nerve. Once the tooth has emerged from the gum, it doesn’t play any significant role in terms of a tooth’s health and function other than allowing it to sense hot or cold material inside the mouth.
Thus, if it is even removed during the treatment, there is no effect on the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.
Why is it necessary to remove the tooth pulp or nerve after damage?
When the pulp or nerve is damaged, it starts disintegrating and bacteria begin to multiply inside the pulp. This can worsen the infection or lead to the abscessed tooth. When abscess occurs within the pulp, the infection starts spreading all the way across the ends of the tooth root. Thus, abscess and infection in the root of a tooth can result in:
- Swelling that can reach other areas of the face, neck, or head
- Bone loss around the root’s tip
- Drainage problems, meaning a hole may form through the side of the tooth with drainage into the gums or through the cheek into the skin.
How does a tooth nerve or pulp get damaged in the first place?
The reason behind irritation, inflammation, and infection in the tooth nerve or pulp can be several, including deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, large fillings, crack in the tooth, chip in the tooth, or trauma in the face.
What are the signs that you need root canal treatment?
While the right answer can be obtained through an experienced dentist or endodontist based on your tooth condition, here are a few signs that indicate you might need RCT.
- Experiencing severe throbbing pain radiating till ear
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- Lingering sensation even when the hot or cold stimulus is removed
- Swelling or sore tooth.
- Deep dental caries or discoloration of tooth
- Abraded or attrited teeth with sensitivity with hot and cold.
- Bulky restoration over the pulp
How much does the root canal treatment cost?
The cost of the root canal treatment is not fixed. It varies based on how complex the case is and which tooth is infected. For instance, the fee to perform root canal treatment in molars is usually high because they are more difficult to access and treat. Some of the dental insurance policies can help cover the cost of root canal treatment.
So, if you are noticing one or more of the above signs, schedule an appointment with a dentist near you and find out what procedure could be best for you.