What is Root Canal Treatment?
A root canal is a procedure to preserve (not revive) a dead tooth. I say “preserve” and not “revive” because it’s like mummification. It’s taking a dead pharaoh and stuffing him — it’s not making the pharaoh’s completely healthy.
By the time you need a root canal, it’s too late to save the life of the tooth because it’s already infected and dying.
Why mummify a dead tooth? You do this because you want to keep the tooth in your mouth. It’s a dead tooth that’s mummified. Why not pull the dead tooth out? Well, you can, and then you would have to replace the dead tooth with an implant to fill the hole left behind in your jaw along with a new, artificial tooth — and actually, the new school of thought is that going straight to an implant is the right thing to do.
The main reason for getting a root canal instead of an implant is that it’s simpler to keep your old tooth, even though it’s dead, because you can still benefit from having the structure of the dead tooth to chew food and help you speak properly.
Ever seen a movie where someone’s leg gets infected and it has to be cut off? A root canal is like that — you have to cut out the infected tissue inside the tooth to prevent infecting the rest of your body and killing you.
But there are consequences. Having a root canal done makes the tooth brittle and prone to fracture — think of the mummified pharaoh. The inside of the tooth has been scraped out, leaving the outer shell of the tooth dry, brittle, and prone to breakage.
That’s why a root canal procedure requires a second procedure shortly afterwards: A crown.
A root canaled tooth needs protection because you’ve carved out the tissue inside it. Enter: the crown, which is a rigid covering that is stronger than enamel that preserves the structural integrity of the tooth and prevents it from breaking.
Steps Involved in Root Canal
Essentially, the concept of a root canal is this: inside of this enclosed space inside the tooth, there’s a lot of infected tissue with bad bugs. It’s up to the dentist to go in and remove 100% of that infected tissue.
After the infected tissue is removed, your dentist has to seal it off to make sure no bacteria can get back in there. There is no way to make a perfect seal because there are so many accessory canals, which are canals running off the main canal. (Imagine a vein in a leaf, with lots of little “accessory” veins running off of the main vein.)
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Root Canal?
Root Canal Pros:
- You don’t have to extract the tooth.
- You can keep the tooth.
- Bone around the tooth is preserved.
- No nearby teeth movement due to empty socket of removed tooth
Root Canal Cons:
- There’s no such thing as a 100% clean root canal.
- It is hard to sit with your mouth open for a few hours during the procedure.
What to Ask Before Agreeing to Treatment
- Is a root canal absolutely necessary?
- Is it possible the tooth will recover and not need the root canal?
- Why did the pulp die?
- What are my options?
- What if I don’t do the root canal?
- Should I skip the root canal and go right to the implant?
- Will my infection spread to other teeth or to my bone?
- How predictable is the treatment?
- And perhaps most important: Should I have this done by endodontist?
Should I Get a Root Canal Or an Implant?
A big question now in dentistry is: do you go right to the implant because it’s more predictable than a root canal?
To make this decision, you need to ask your dentist about the predictability of success of a root canal. This is something that you and your dentist have to decide together, after you consider all the options for your unique case. If you talk to an endodontist, she will want to do the root canal. If you talk to the implatologist, she will want to do the implant. So it is better to go to a clinic where both endodontist and implantologist are available.
All healthcare professionals tend to recommend things that we know more about and are more skilled in or comfortable with. Always keep in mind this inherent bias.
Why endodontists are called Root Canal specialists?
Just like a doctor in any other field, endodontists are specialists because they’ve completed an additional two or more years of training beyond dental school. Their additional training focuses on diagnosing tooth pain and performing root canal treatment and other procedures relating to the interior of the tooth. In many cases, a diseased tooth can be saved with endodontic treatment. For this reason, endodontists proudly refer to themselves as Specialists in Saving Teeth.
Why Apex Dental Centre for Root Canals?
At Apex Dental Centre we have full time Endodontist with near zero Root Canal failure rates. We also have facilities such as OPG for 360 view and Digital X-ray for in-procedure view. In case you decide to go for crown, they measured and delivered by Prosthodontist who have completed additional 2 years in specializing crowns & bridges. In case you decide to go for Implants, we have full time implantologist trained in Germany with over 2500 implant placements.
Our full-time Endodontist:
Dr. Poonam Dogra
Call us now: +91-11-45701076