Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment

    The tooth simply contains hard tissues on the surface and the pulp of the tooth in the inside where the nerves of the tooth are also placed. As a result of the bacteria in the mouth infecting the pulp and root canals irreversibly in various ways, the tooth loses its vitality. In the past, when root canal treatment could not be considered as an option, extraction of the tooth, which is the source of infection, was considered as the best way of treatment. However, nowadays, we treat the infection by following a series of steps that include removing the infected tissue and cleaning the root canals rather than directly removing the tooth, considering that every tooth that can be saved is valuable to us. If left untreated, the infection spreads to the surrounding tissues and causes many negative consequences, including bone loss. 

How is root canal treatment applied

     In the first step, the tooth that is the source of infection is determined by the dentist through the patient's pain history and auxiliary diagnostic materials. If there is no decayed tissue on the tooth, a hole is created in the tooth with the help of a rotary instrument in accordance with the anatomical structure of the tooth, and the pulp chamber is reached, if the decay is seen, it is cleaned, the pulp tissue (including the tooth's nerves) is removed and the root canals are disinfected with various liquids. The infected hard tissue of the root canals is shaved with the instrument called 'file' and the canals are enlarged to be suitable for filling. Depending on the size of the infection, the infection is completely cleared in one or more sessions and the root canals are filled with suitable materials. If two or more sessions are to be made, temporary dental filling is applied in order to prevent saliva and food residues from entering the formed space. Then, when the treatment is completely finished, the upper structure of the tooth is permanently restored and the treatment is completed. 

What happens if root canal treatment is not applied?

    The formation of pus-filled abscess at the root of the tooth, including the jawbone, leads to the loss of the tooth root and surrounding bone tissue. In the future, the tooth has to be extracted, and the probability of success of alternative treatment methods decreases because of the loss of the bone tissue. Because either fixed or removable prosthesis is planned or implant is considered to complete the gap caused by tooth loss, but in both treatments, bone loss poses a major problem in terms of the success of the treatment. 

Will I feel pain during root canal treatment?

    As in every dental treatment, the patient's pain is prevented with an effective anesthesia during the root canal treatment. With appropriate anesthesia and a comfortable treatment, the sensitivity and discomfort that may be felt by the patient can be prevented. 

Will I feel pain after root canal treatment?

    Root canal treatment is a treatment that aims to eliminate the patient's pain. However, after the treatment is over, tenderness and mild pain may be felt during the healing process (7-15 days). In this case, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen can be used. Pain and tenderness decrease over time and disappear at last. If the pain does not disappear and becomes increasingly severe, a dentist should be consulted as soon as possible. Things to consider after root canal treatment can be listed as follows: During the first 2 hours after the treatment, nothing should be eaten or drunk. Regardless of the number of sessions, care should be taken not to chew with the side of the treated tooth during the healing process after each root canal treatment session. Extremely cold or hot foods and drinks should not be consumed during the healing process. 

How long can a root canal treated tooth stay in the mouth? 

    The success rate of an effective root canal treatment is more than 95%. For this reason, a root canal treated tooth with treatment procedures can be used for a lifetime if effective oral hygiene is provided.

Root canal treatment for heavily decayed teeth

    In case of excessive decay and destruction of the head of the tooth, which we call the crown, after an effective root canal treatment, normal filling increases the risk of tooth fracture. In this case, the application of a metal or fiber material called 'post' into the root canals increases the durability of both the root part of the tooth and the crown part. Thus, the risk of tooth fracture is reduced and the duration of the tooth in the mouth is extended. 

Does tooth discoloration occur as a result of root canal treatment?

    As a result of root canal treatment, the tooth loses its vitality. Therefore, colour change can be seen over time. However, this situation can be corrected with whitening agents that the dentist will apply into the crown. 

Causes of failure in root canal treatment

    Despite the successful treatment by the physician, root canal treatment may fail. There are many reasons for this. These are;

  • 1. Anatomically, as a result of the presence of more canals than the normal number of canals in a tooth, at least one of these extra canals may be left uncleaned.
  • 2. Presence of persistent bacteria which resist to cleaning solutions in the root canals and re-infection of the tooth as a result of the activities of these bacteria.
  • 3. Presence of cracks in root canals.
  • 4. As a result of the leakage of the restoration made after the treatment, bacteria may reach the root canals again and cause infection.

Can root canal treatment be repeated? (Retreatment)

    A tooth with root canal treatment that fails for various reasons can be treated again, but this treatment is more troublesome than normal root canal treatment and the success rate is lower than the first treatment.