ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure used to treat infection at the center of a tooth (the root canal system). The infection is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and invade the tooth. This can happen after tooth decay, leaky fillings or damage to teeth as a result of trauma.
Signs of pulp damage may include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discolouration of the tooth, swelling, tenderness of the overlying gums or a bad taste in the mouth. On the other hand, there may be no symptoms at all. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can eventually cause pain, swelling and loss of the supporting bone.
Removal of the infected or inflamed pulp is the first step in saving the tooth. Afterwards the root canals are cleaned and shaped to a form that can be sealed. The canals are finally filled or sealed with an inert material called gutta-percha. The tooth should be restored to full shape and function by either a permanent filling or a crown, depending on how much of the tooth is left. This should be done as soon as possible as there could be a risk of tooth fracture due to biting forces.
Most endodontically treated teeth last as long as other natural teeth. In a few cases, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment fails to heal or the pain continues. Occasionally, the tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. Often when this occurs, redoing the endodontic procedure can save the tooth.
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