Inflamed tooth tissue no longer heals
Teeth and molars consist of a crown and one or more roots. The crown is the part that you see. You don't see the roots. They are anchored in the jaw under your gums. There is a channel in every root, the root channel. This contains nerve fibers and small blood vessels. This living tissue is also called pulp. If the tissue is inflamed or has been inflamed, the dentist performs a root canal treatment.
What causes inflamed tooth tissue?
Tooth decay or a leaking filling can cause your tooth tissue to become inflamed. A hard blow to your tooth can also be a reason. Bacteria are usually the cause of the inflammation. Do your teeth or molars feel sensitive when drinking cold or hot drinks? That can be a first signal. Sometimes the inflammation gives no symptoms, but severe pain symptoms also occur. Your dentist must remove the inflamed tooth tissue, otherwise it will die. If the tooth tissue is not removed, the inflammation can spread to your jaw bone. This can cause jaw bone around the teeth to be lost. Ultimately, so much jaw bone can disappear that the teeth and molars stand loose or even fall out. You notice a jaw bone infection when you close it. Your tooth or molar may feel too high.
What happens during a root canal treatment?
During a root canal treatment, the dentist removes the inflamed tooth tissue. Inflamed tooth tissue no longer heals. It is an irreversible process. That is why your dentist removes the inflamed tissue. A root canal treatment is also called channel or nerve treatment.
The root canal treatment
The root canal treatment is done under local anesthesia if your tooth tissue is still (partially) 'alive'. An anesthesia is sometimes not necessary if your dental tissue has already died. Your dentist often takes one or more X-rays. This way he has good control over the course of the treatment. Your dentist first opens your tooth or molar and removes the inflamed tissue. He then cleans the channel with small files and rinses it with a disinfecting rinsing fluid. The channels are then filled. After the root canal treatment, your dentist will make your tooth or close again with a filling. If the tooth is weakened, a crown may be needed. A tooth or molar treated in this way can last for a long time.
Can a root canal treatment be performed on every tooth or molar?
Sometimes your dentist cannot perform root canal treatment because there are additional problems. The tooth or molar may need to be removed. You can discuss the possible solutions for replacing your lost tooth with your dentist. For example, think of a bridge.
Is a root canal treatment painful?
A root canal treatment is usually not painful with anesthesia.
How long does a root canal treatment take?
The duration of a root canal treatment depends on the number of root canals. Teeth usually have one root. Choices often have more. The treatment time therefore varies from half an hour to an hour and a half. Often the dentist can complete the root canal treatment in one go. Sometimes you have to come back a number of times.
Does a root canal treatment cause pain?
After cleaning the root canals you can possibly have post-pain, which can last for a few days. You can suppress the pain with a good painkiller. An antibiotic is usually not necessary.
Does a tooth discolor or choose after a root canal treatment?
A tooth or molar usually does not discolor after a root canal treatment. If there is some discoloration, your dentist can usually fix it. There are various options for this. Ask your dentist for advice.