Root Canal is a dental treatment that is also known as Endodontic treatment (derived from Greek) and is used to treat the badly damaged or infected tooth from inside. This treatment includes the removal of the soft centre of the tooth known as “Pulp” that is made up of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues that encourage the growth and development of the tooth. The root canal before and after includes examining and removal of pulp as it is the most suitable step to disinfect the damaged area and fill up the space. Some of the symptoms of a damaged pulp might be:
- Continuous tooth pain
- High sensitivity
- Swollen gums or jaw
- Pain due to pressure
- Cracked or loose tooth
These are the symptoms that you might feel inside your mouth if you have an infected pulp that might need a root canal treatment. In case you feel any of these symptoms, immediately consult a doctor.
Why is the treatment required?
The treatment is required to remove the “Pulp” that is damaged or infected due to bacteria. The bacteria can spread over the mouth and might cause severe damage if not treated in advance. Therefore, this treatment ensures the removal of the bacteria infected area to prevent it from spreading further. The bacteria, if not treated well, might cause you to remove the tooth completely. Some of the reasons that cause damage to the pulp or bacteria are:
- Cracked tooth that allows bacteria
- Deep cavity
- Untreated cavity
These factors can cause severe injury to the pulp, making it damaged or might allow the bacteria to enter and cause infection. The before and after root canal procedure is an essential process as it removes the pulp that is infected, cleans up the area, disinfects it and further, fills it up.
The Endodontic Treatment includes the elimination of the harmful bacteria from a contaminated root canal, to prevent reinfection of the tooth and prevent losing the natural teeth. Root canal before and after procedure is not as painful as it used to be, and has undergone many changes and technology to make it less painful. The process of the infected or the damaged pulp includes the following steps:
- X-rays– The first step of the treatment is the X-ray of your tooth. The dentist does an X-ray to see the damage caused and the extent of the damage. It is the primary process that allows and helps the dentist to plan for the further steps in the removal. It also gives an estimate of the duration or the number of sitting for the treatment.
- Anaesthesia– Giving anaesthesia is the second step of the treatment as it numbs the affected or injured area in order to prevent the patient from feeling any pain. This step is crucial for the dentist as well, as it allows him to perform the further steps without the patient being restless or in pain.
- Removal– Removal is the crucial step of before and after root canal treatment. After giving anaesthesia, the dentist places a dental dam to ensure that your mouth remains dry during the process. He then makes a hole at the top of the tooth (of the affected pulp) and makes enough space to take out the pulp. After he clearly sees the pulp from the opening, it is removed carefully using his tools.
- Cleaning– After removing the bacteria, the area is cleaned thoroughly and the dentist makes sure to remove any excess bacteria or abscess (in some cases) in that area or nearby. He then prepares the tooth for the further process by enlarging the root canal, which is otherwise narrow. He also gives it a regular shape to make it easier to fill.
- Filling– This step is time-taking as the dentist fills the hole with a rubber like material along with adhesive cement to seal the root canal completely. Though the sealing done in this process is a temporary sealing, it is still important as it prevents the canals from getting damaged by saliva. You need to take a lot of precautions before fixing the crown.
- Crown– After the temporary filling, the tooth is left to rest, until a cap or Crown is made for you according to the size of your tooth. You’re given some antibiotics to prevent any infection (in some cases). During your next sitting, the dentist removes the temporary filling and puts the Crown (a tooth) and completes the root canal treatment.
The duration of the before and after root canal procedure depends on the extent of damage or injury to the pulp. Usually the treatment is completed in an hour and takes a maximum of two sittings. In case, your pulp is severely damaged, or multiple pulps are damaged, the treatment might take 2 hours, and more than two sittings, depending on the conditions and the dentist.
The average cost of a Root Canal Treatment is Rs. 3500 to Rs. 6000, depending on the extent of damage. The price may vary depending on other factors such as the dentist, the clinic, the area and the number of sittings.
After effects of the Treatment
Usually, there are no after effects of the root canal before and after Treatment, but some patients might feel some after effects owing to the treatment and the affected area. Some of the effects that you might as well fell after your treatment might be:
- Sensitivity for a few days (that is ordinary)
These after effects are considered to be normal, and are expected after every treatment. However, in case of continuous effects, immediately consult your dentist.
After the completion of the procedure, you are advised to take some precautions in order to avoid reinfection. These precautions are important as you might feel some pain after the process and as the numbness vanishes. Some of the advised measures to follow after the treatment might be as follows:
- Continue the consumption of prescribed medications
- Eat easily chew-able food
- Try to chew from the opposite side of the treatment
- Brush with caution
The precautions might vary according to the extent of the process of your treatment, depending on how mild or severe it has been. You are advised to strictly follow the guidelines given by your dentist.
A root canal before and after treatment is usually done to remove the bacteria and the affected pulp in the tooth. The pulp is important for the growth and development of the tooth, but after the tooth is completely grown, it can still be maintained without a pulp. It is also considered as a restorative procedure and enables you to enjoy and maintain your teeth for the rest of your life. But, you need to change your dental care habits and follow the steps to keep your teeth healthy.
The more you keep your teeth healthy, the more you will see the positive result of your root canal treatment. The procedure is considered to be a painful treatment but in reality, it is not. All you need to do is consult a specialised dentist, take some suggestions, get your X-ray done and follow the advice of your dentist. A professional person will never give you wrong advice and it is also preferred to follow your dentist’s instructions than to suffer for the rest of your life.