‘Awareness is the key to progression.’ The general outlook of every individual today is that they are either too caught up in their work or reluctant to visit their dentist every 6 months. But, the truth be told, this is a highly derelict step that one can take for himself.
From time and again, the banner of awareness for dental health care and hygiene has been put up. Free dental camps are organized to get a complete diagnosis done to help maintain good oral hygiene. However, people have still turned a ‘bind eye’ to the dangers that a minor toothache can cause. Yes, the teeth are present in a very small area in our body. Moreover, ‘a problem area,’ in one of those teeth, becomes even more meager, for our attention to getting drawn there. But, gear up; it is time that you yet again know what an aggravating toothache brings for you.
Did you ever feel the excruciating pain that runs from the sides of your jaw, all over, reaching to your head? The radiating, throbbing pain! That is just the ‘real beginning’ to it. A tooth pain that is ignored for a long time tends to spread the infection to the jaw bone or even the brain! So, let’s face it, a minor toothache has the potency to make you undergo surgery, which of course, will not be a pocket-friendly step for you( the trauma of surgery kept aside).
What can be done then? Well, it is as simple as it sounds, visit your dentist to avoid the spread of infection up to that extent..
The teeth comprise majorly of three layers… The enamel, dentin, and pulp. If infected, the bacteria in the teeth slowly sloughs away the enamel. You may not feel any pain at this step; after all, the enamel is the hardest substance in the body! But, as everything grows, the bacteria, too, proliferates into the dentin. This is when we experience what we commonly term as tooth sensitivity. Small problem! So we subside it and carry on with the everyday work. But, stop and take a look into it. Your tooth has been infected, and it has been washed away from its primary protective layer. Now is the time to talk to your dentist. When the bacterial attack is at the dentin level, we go for a restoration, i.e., excavating the bacteria out and then sealing it with restorative material like amalgam or composite.
Sadly, most people do not take this step. They forbid themselves from going to a dentist which ultimately, results in the growth of the bacteria deeper into the pulp.
Did you know, pulp consists of nerve endings and blood vessels making it a vital part?
The leaching of the bacteria to this layer now causes acute or chronic pain in patients, depending upon the time the bacteria has been infesting upon your tooth. Not only pain but sensitivity to both hot and cold water. Gradually, the pain gets to a level where it cannot be endured. Patients now go and knock on the door of a dentist. Yes, already enough damage has been done, but unaware of that, few patients worsen the situation by opting for an extraction. Well, that is a different picture altogether. But, before going there, let’s ‘fill your ears’ with the benefits of root canal treatment( suggested by dentists and the preferred treatment for you).
Rct or root canal treatment is when the tooth is excavated, taking out the debris, bacteria, the infected pulp through the help of different sized files and then finally sealing it with cement to restrict the entry of bacteria again.
Fact: Microscope is used at times during Rct. This is done to see the complex anatomy of root canal opening.
Rct is that intricate as a procedure. This does not make the work of the dentists any easy, but it is recommended only for the betterment of the patient!
So next time your dentist suggests RCT treatment, know that you need it.
To access root canals, to work precisely on small areas, dentists use tools that are efficient to function minutely.
Often, hesitation towards dental treatment may come from the drilling noise of the aerator or the sharp instruments.
The instruments are made in such a way that they work at micron levels. Since the canal openings are very tiny, the tools required to access them have to be precise. This time before panicking, seeing the tools, know that they are manufactured to clean and shape your root canals!
The list of instruments used in RCT are:
The root canal procedure takes place by,
Local anesthesia is not always required when the pulp is wholly necrosed. But whatsoever, it is an important step. Anesthesia is contraindicated in acute inflammation and when the pH of the soft tissue is acidic.
After anesthetizing the area, the tooth is isolated with the help of a dental dam.
An access opening is made on the tooth, and also the flattening of the occlusal surface is done, just in case to avoid trauma( occlusal flattening is done only in a few cases).
The orifices of the canal are located using 6,8,10,15 numbers of files in increasing order. As the files are already tapered, an automatic conical-shaped canal is made during the root canal preparation.
Radiographic images are obtained at every step to prevent the perforation of the canal and see the depth of the file that has gone inside the canal. Once the file reaches the apex, the preparation is complete.
Barbed broach is used to take out the necrotic tissues of the pulp.
Irrigation of saline and sodium hypochlorite is frequently done, almost at every step, to keep the canals clean.
The cement, gutta-percha, is made to snugly fit the canals which have been freshly prepared.
Fun Fact- Gutta-percha is extensively used to fill root canals. In dentistry, this cement has established itself as a gold standard. Many materials have been tested to work as endodontic filling, but none accomplished the task as efficiently.
A ball burnisher is taken and made red hot before sealing the gutta-percha into the canal
The patient is called for the next appointment, where a permanent sealant is provided.
Also, measurements for the crown are taken, which are placed over the tooth, for more extended durability.
Rct is a multiple sitting procedure, but nowadays, single sitting painless Rct is gaining much recognition.
However, patients have always been inclined towards extraction more than Rct.
Is it the correct decision or not?
Let’s break down the reality to you!
People have this preconceived notion that Rct is a painful procedure. Now, reluctance has to have a direction, right? Not knowing is one thing, but wrong assumptions can have terrible consequences. Many times, patients report a dreading toothache and want to get the tooth removed. However, the truth is that Rct is a way better option than extraction. Dentists these days have gone about saying to ‘save a tooth.’ Why? Because, what can be anything better than your natural teeth? There is no perfect replacement for it! Dentists make their patients conscious of this fact every time!
Rct is painful!
This claim is downright false. Root canal treatment images, ads, anything can make you assume that the procedure is painful. But, this is untrue. Rct is done under the effect of anesthesia. This numbs our sensory organs, thus, making us unable to face any pain.
Extraction is more cost-effective!
Isn’t this statement ‘too good to be true?’ An extraction requires the complete removal of the tooth. When this is continued, and the person, alas, becomes ‘toothless,’ he or she has to go for a more expensive treatment plan like implant, bridges, complete dentures to enable the mastication of food.
Root canal treatment can give you a sigh of relief. Once you have taken the initiative to undergo the treatment, in just a matter of two days, the stubbing pain vanishes. Since the bacteria causing the infection is removed, there is no pressure imposed on the pulp. A crown over it acts as a barrier against the entry of more germs.
In the long run, the root canal is more durable and helps retain our natural teeth. Root canals are reported to sustain for even 15 years if properly maintained! On the other hand, the gap induced due to extraction may result in more food lodgement and trauma to the soft tissues by the opposing tooth.
Many times, a layer of yellowish to brownish tinge of color is left behind in the tooth because of the infection. A crown set up over this tooth, obviously, omits this issue entirely.
Root canal treatment is a cure for the spread of bacterial infection to the jaw, leading to more complex dental surgeries.
Now, sit back and be a bit analytical. Isn’t taking a preventive measure, to the very first sensitivity, the cure to the outbreak of a more deadly infection severing your jaw bone? Maintaining dental hygiene is of top-notch importance. Take care of your teeth, as you do for the rest of your body. Opt for Rct when your dentist suggests you to. After all, a flashing, beautiful smile is always welcome, isn’t it?
Sep 28, 2021