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What Is A Root Canal Treatment?

Root Canal Defined

Do you have a tooth that is badly decayed? If the extent of the decay is huge, then the tooth's root may get inflamed and severely infected. In this case, you need a root canal treatment.

The natural cavity found in the center of your tooth is called the root canal. You can find the pulp and the nerve within this area.

When you have tooth decay, the pulp and nerve tissue at the center of the tooth breaks down. The bacteria multiply, causing infection. Left untreated, the infection can worsen, and the tooth may become abscessed, or filled with pus. An abscessed tooth causes extreme pain. It can even destroy the bone, which surrounds the tooth.

In the past, if tooth decay involves an injured or diseased pulp, the affected tooth is usually extracted. Nowadays, you can have your decayed tooth repaired and saved through a root canal procedure.

How do you know if you need a root canal?

- You find it severely painful to chew.

- Your tooth has a prolonged and strong sensitivity to cold or heat.

- Your tooth becomes discolored.

- You have a recurring or persistent pimple on the gums close to the decaying tooth.

What are the common causes of decay involving the nerve and root?

- Cracked tooth

- Injury or trauma to the tooth , either in the past or recent

- Frequent dental treatments

- Deep cavity

If your dentist sees fit, he will do a root canal to address the problem. He will remove the damaged pulp and nerve, clean and disinfect the area, then fill and seal it.

What can you expect during a root canal?

If your dentist thinks that a root canal is required, he will determine where the decay is through an x-ray.

- Anesthesia

He will administer local anesthesia to numb the infected area.

- Pulpectomy

He will make an opening in the tooth's crown to reach the pulp chamber. He will remove the inflamed or infected tissue. He will clean the canals using special files and irrigation. He will then shape the canals prior to filling them.

- Filling the canals

Your dentist will fill the canals using a material called gutta-percha. The filling keeps the canals safe from infection.

- Rebuilding the tooth

Your dentist will seal the opening by placing a temporary filling material on the surface of the gutta-percha. If the dentist thinks it is necessary, he will put a post close to the gutta-percha in the root to provide greater support.

- Putting the crown

When the tooth is ready for a permanent filling, the dentist will put a crown over the tooth's top, and cement it into place. The crown will make the tooth look natural in shape and appearance.

What Is Dental Scaling?

Dental scaling, also called prophylaxis, refers to a dental procedure, which involves the safe removal of plaque and other dirt from below your tongue and your teeth. Plaque that remains in the surface of your teeth, and in your gum line is the major cause of swelling, irritation, gingivitis and other gum infections. The procedure aims to get rid of debris, bacteria and plaque in the specific areas of your mouth and teeth that your floss and toothbrush cannot reach.

Importance of Dental Scaling

Plaque, which is a naturally occurring substance found in the surface of your teeth, combines with food debris and bacteria, causing it to harden and develop tartar. This further causes the plaque to stick to your teeth. The problem with hardened plaque and tartar is that it also leads to gum irritation, inflammation and infection.

It can also further trigger periodontitis. When this happens, expect the tartar to spread below your gum line, causing your gums to recede, the loss of your tooth, and damage to your supporting bone structure. These are the things that dental scaling can prevent. It is a vital part of your dental care plan, making it possible for you to maintain a brighter and better smile.

It protects your gums, preventing bacteria, tartar and plaque from damaging your teeth. It also works in eliminating bad breath. If you suffer from halitosis (chronic bad breath) then dental scaling can significantly reduce that problem by targeting the source. Note that the foods you eat are not the only causes of bad breath. There are also times when tartar buildup and poor dental hygiene contribute to the problem. In this case, dental scaling is the best solution.

How does it Work?

Dental scaling is usually conducted by a dentist with the help of ultrasonic instruments, manual instruments or both. He will first examine your mouth thoroughly. After the thorough examination, he will use an ultrasonic scaling instrument to get rid of plaque and bacteria.

The instrument will produce sonic vibrations that help in eliminating plaque. It can remove not only plaque, but also biofilm and tartar from beneath your gum line, as well as from the surface of your teeth. If after the use of the instrument your teeth still contains something that needs to be removed, your dentist will use the manual instrument.

Based on the position of your teeth, as well as the severity of your case, you may need to undergo one to several cleaning sessions before you can achieve your desired results. You may feel a slight discomfort during the session, especially if your dentist uses the ultrasonic equipment. Your jaw may also feel uncomfortable, and your teeth may get numb because you will need to open your mouth for a long time, usually at least one hour.

Despite these minor issues, dental scaling is still safe, and can help you cure the oral and dental issues that are currently bugging you.

What Are The Treatment Options For Periodontitis?

Left untreated, gingivitis can progress into a more malignant condition known as periodontitis. It is a gum disease that leads to the loosening of teeth resulting from the destruction of both bone and tissue surrounding said teeth.

Destruction of tissue and bone is a result of the toxins that are released by the bacteria once they have reached below the gum line. The toxins ruin the connective tissue and bone that supports the teeth. The tooth loosens, and then falls out.

In a nutshell, periodontitis results in the destruction of the tooth's support structure. There are several ways to treat periodontitis. Here are some of the methods and stages of periodontitis treatment.

The Initial Stage

The first stage of treatment involves the removal of tartar and plaque to restore the gum's health. The dentist or oral hygienist will use a procedure known as debridement or scaling. An ultrasonic device might be used in some cases.

Using Prescription Mouthrinse

There are two kinds of mouthwash. The first kind is the one that can be bought off the shelves. These are used for everyday oral hygiene, and then there is the kind that is prescribed by dentists.

Dentists can sometimes prescribe a special antimicrobial mouthwash to treat gum disease. It is used like regular mouthwash.

Antibiotic Microspheres

These are small miniscule particles that are released into the pockets of periodontitis. These are used to control the bacteria population, as well as shrink the pockets produced by periodontitis. This form of treatment involves putting the medication directly into the pockets.

Antibiotic Gel

This is basically similar to antibiotic microspheres. The main difference is that this comes in the form of a gel. It is applied in the same area as antibiotic microspheres. Like antibiotic microspheres, antibiotic gels are another form of slow release medication.

Flap Surgery

Flap surgery is a form of surgery where the dentist removes calculus within the deep pockets, as well as reducing the pocket size. Reduction of pocket size makes it simpler to clean the gums.

The surgery involves pulling the gums back to remove the tartar. After cleaning, the gums are sutured back into position so their fit is closer to the teeth. The surgery has the side effect of making the teeth look longer.

Bone and Tissue Graft

The process involves introducing artificial tissue or bone into the gums. The insertion allows the damaged bone and tissue to heal quicker as they promote regeneration.

Patient Participation

It is important to take note that the patient should take proper care of their teeth. Treatment is nothing if not complimented with good care and oral hygiene. Proper care, such as brushing the teeth twice a day, flossing, and etc. is essential for those who want their treatments to work.

Periodontitis is a chronic disease. To put it simply, periodontitis will require a lifetime worth of proper maintenance of teeth and gums, as well as frequent visits to the dentist.