Tuesday 23 February 2021

What Happens When A Root Canal Fails

What happens when root canal fails

 Root canal treatment is a treatment carried out on your tooth when the pulp (the part of your tooth containing blood vessels and nerves) is damaged, diseased or dead.  You can learn more about root canal treatment here: root canal treatment. This treatment can be expensive and unpleasant so it's not a good feeling when it fails.

What are the symptoms of a failed root canal?

Do you still have pain and discomfort after your treatment? Mild discomfort is expected after the treatment because the tissues around the root of your tooth have been disturbed during the treatment. However, if the pain does not resolve after a few days or continues to increase in intensity, you should consult your dentist.

Common symptoms that may indicate treatment failure are:

  • Tooth tenderness or pain
  • The sensitivity of the tooth to heat or cold stimuli like hot tea or a cold drink
  • Pain on biting
  • Swelling of the gum around the tooth
  • Increased tooth mobility

Causes of a failed root canal

  • Incomplete removal of  bacteria from the root canals during treatment due to variation of the size and shape of the root canal
  • A crack or fissure in the root of the teeth
  • Broken root tip
  • Dislodged or broken tooth filling or crown
  • Tooth decay or periodontal(gum) infection

Can a failed root canal be fixed?

Once you develop any of the symptoms above, it is important you visit your dentist immediately to evaluate the situation. 

The dentist will take xrays of the tooth to find out what is happening in the root canals and around the root of the teeth. Depending on what the results are, you may have to repeat the procedure again. This is called an endodontic retreatment. The root canal fillings are removed and the canals are cleaned and disinfected again. The tooth is then restored with a temporary filling or crown. The permanent restoration will be placed at a later appointment.


Tuesday 9 February 2021

What To Expect During A Root Canal Treatment


What is a root canal treatment?

A root canal treatment is a dental procedure carried out to preserve a damaged or diseased tooth by removing the pulp of the tooth. When a tooth gets damaged either due to tooth decay, fracture, or a failed filling, sometimes the pulp gets infected and may even die. 

The pulp is the living part of the tooth containing the blood vessels and nerves. To preserve the tooth, the root canal procedure is done to remove the infected pulp from the root canals and replace it with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha.

How to know if you may require a root canal

  • Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold stimuli, even after the cause has been removed
  • A chipped or cracked tooth
  • Severe pain when biting or chewing
  • Swollen gums
  • Deep tooth decay

What happens during a root canal treatment?

A local anesthetic will be given to numb the area and prevent pain. An opening is created in the tooth to expose the pulp. The diseased pulp is then removed and the root canals are cleaned and disinfected. 

The root canals are filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. This is sealed with dental cement. The dentist then restores the tooth for aesthetics and function. This treatment may require more than one dental visit.

Is a root canal painful?

A local anesthetic is applied so it is not painful. But, there will be numbness in the area until the anesthetic wears off. There may be mild discomfort for a few days after the procedure.

How long does a root canal take?

A minor case can take between 30 to 60 minutes. However, you should prepare for it to take up to 90 mins for a complex case. About two to three visits are required to complete the treatment.

Is a crown required after a root canal?

After root canal treatment, a tooth becomes fragile because of the infection, fracture and tooth drilling. A crown will help to protect the tooth and make it more durable. 

Sometimes, if the indication for the root canal was a long standing decayed tooth, the tooth may be discoloured. A crown will restore the original colour to match the remaining teeth. 

Also, a crown will prevent tooth sensitivity that may arise after the treatment from the remaining nerves.

Monday 8 February 2021

Root Canal Vs Extraction: Which Is Better?


Root Canal Vs Tooth Extraction

Your teeth can suffer damage from a number of issues. There could be a hole caused by tooth decay, fracture of part of the tooth due to an injury or weakness of the tooth or it could also be due to an infection of the gum. When this damage affects the part of the tooth called the pulp which is the layer of the tooth containing the nerves and blood vessels, the treatment options will be to consider either tooth extraction or a root canal treatment. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of each and when your dentist considers which treatment option.

What is a root canal?

Root canal treatment is a dental procedure carried out to preserve the tooth when the pulp of a tooth is damaged or dead.

What happens during a root canal treatment?

First, a local anesthetic is applied to that area to numb it and prevent pain during the treatment. Then, an opening is created in the tooth to open up the canals containing the damaged pulp. The pulp is removed and the canals are then properly cleaned and disinfected. The canals are filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha and then sealed up. 

After the treatment, the tooth is restored by the dentist for proper aesthetics and function. Your dentist may recommend placing a crown on the tooth after the treatment. There is minimal pain after the treatment, although you will be given pain medication to go home with.

What is tooth extraction?

Tooth extraction is a procedure done to remove the diseased or damaged tooth completely from the socket in the bone using dental instruments. There are two types of extractions. It could be a simple extraction or a surgical extraction. 

A simple extraction is done when the tooth can be seen in the mouth. A surgical extraction is carried out when the tooth can not be seen in the mouth because it has broken off below the gum line. It is also performed when the tooth has not erupted in the mouth like the wisdom tooth or third molar.

What happens during a tooth extraction?

An anesthetic is applied to make the area numb. Special instruments are used to loosen the tooth and lift it out of the socket. You may feel some pressure during the procedure. Mild bleeding is expected, so a piece of gauze will be placed over it and you will be asked to bite on it for some time to stop the bleeding. 

If it is a surgical extraction, mild swelling can be expected. However, this can be reduced by applying ice packs over the area. Your dentist will give you a pain relief medication prescription to help with the mild pain after the procedure. You will also be given some instructions to help care for the extraction site and help to heal. You can expect the site to be completely healed after two or three weeks.

 It is important to replace the tooth to prevent the shifting of adjacent teeth. There are options for replacement ranging from partial dentures, bridges to dental implants. Your dentist will explain each option to you and help you choose an appropriate replacement.

Root canal vs tooth extraction

Tooth extraction is done when the teeth are too damaged or diseased to be saved especially if they have been damaged for a long time. 

If the tooth has suffered a fracture well below the gum line, tooth extraction may be considered.

Keeping the tooth is always the best option if possible because a replacement is never really as good as having the original tooth.

So, the final verdict of having a root canal treatment or extraction will be arrived at after discussing with your dentist about your own peculiar case.

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