02 Mar

Stay – roots canaled – in London

If we think about the intense pain in our teeth that drive us crazy, we would simply love to pull that one out to stop the pain it causes. But wait! Don’t do that. We have another option to extraction of teeth. All of us would prefer to keep our own teeth instead of getting a bridge or denture. Here we can be helped with root canal therapy, which is also called endodontic therapy. This procedure is helpful in restoring dead teeth, where the pulp is damaged or dead. All the teeth have enamel, dentine, and pulp. This pulp is contained in a chamber at the centre of the dentine called pulp chamber, which extends to the tip of the teeth roots via narrow tubular canals called root canal. The pulp filling the root canals is highly vascularised and also contains nerve tissues. Hence, when we have caries or deep cavities on the surface of the tooth, it gets direct connection to the sensitive pulp and we feel sudden pain or sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweets. When exposed, there is greater chance of the pulp to become infected and later causing a chronic infection or abscess. When there is an infection, we get pain and swelling around the teeth. If this condition is treated early by filling the cavity, the tooth can be saved. However, if the condition progresses untreated, a chronic infection or necrosis of the pulp ensues leading to darkening or discoloration of the teeth. Now the pulp cannot be saved and has to be removed, as it has become the seat of chronic infection and pain. For this, your dentist would advice you to undergo a root canal therapy so that the decayed part can be removed while maintaining the root structure. Generally, this type of treatment requires 1 to 2 visits to your dentist. Majority of London citizens are fearful of root canal therapy, thinking it to be very painful. Actually, the procedure itself is not painful. Before beginning the procedure, your dentist might take an x-ray to find out the extent of decay or infection. He will then cover the tooth with a rubber dam to keep the tooth dry and will make an external hole to get access to the root canal. Through this hole, the dead pulp and abscess and/bacteria would be removed and the root canal would be emptied. After emptying, the tooth will be filled with gutta percha, a putty like material and the external hole will be sealed. As an anaesthetic is used to numb your teeth, you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. But if filling is delayed, you might feel some pain and sensitivity, which can be relieved by over-the-counter medications. After filling and sealing the cavity, the tooth can be treated to regain its natural colour using suitable techniques. You might be needed to avoid chewing hard substances for sometime after treatment. After the root canal therapy, teeth look natural and with proper hygiene and dental care, root canals last lifelong.