Fillings & Root Canal Treatment
A Dental filling is a way to restore teeth that are damaged by decay back to their normal function and shape. When any dentist gives the filling, he or she first removes the decayed tooth material, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a specific filling material.
Dentists consider a number of factors when choosing which type of filling material is best for you. These factors include the extent of the repair, where in your mouth the filling is needed and the cost.
They help restoring teeth that are damaged, back to their normal function, and prevents further decay.
If we talk about types of filling materials there is no limit, these days several dental filling materials are available like gold, porcelain, silver amalgam (which consists of mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper). or tooth-colored, plastic, and materials called composite resin fillings. There is also a material that contains glass particles and is known as glass ionomer. This material is used in ways similar to the use of composite resin fillings.
However We @ Clove strictly follow the policy of ‘No mercury fillings’ Silver amalgam fillings have been the oldest way of filling a tooth, it has a number of flaws and drawbacks that even includes mercury poisoning
Procedure of fillings
- Local anesthesia – Once you visit a dentist, at the beginning of your filling procedure, you may be given local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth
- Tooth decay removal – After that the dentist will cut through the enamel using a drill to remove any decay. After the dentist removes the decay, the dentist will create the shape of the space to ready it for the filling
- Etching – Before placing the material a tooth is etched for a bonded filling, so the dentist will etch the tooth with an acid gel
- Resin application – For some types of fillings the dentist will layer on the resin and cure it using a bright light. This makes it strong
- Polishing – This is the last and final step after the filling has been placed. The filling is polished
What is Endodontic Treatment?
Root canal or Endodontic Treatment—is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, faulty crowns, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, trauma to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
During root canal or Endodontic Treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.
Endodontic Treatment helps you maintain your natural smile, continue eating the food you love and limits the need for ongoing dental work. With proper care, most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime.
What is Endodontic Treatment?
Endodontic treatment in simpler words is called Root Canal Treatment. RCT is advised by the dentist when the infection has reached dental pulp or is in close proximity of dental pulp. The procedure requires simple steps. The dentist will first remove the infected pulp from the root canal. Doctor will then disinfect and reshape the root canal which is later sealed with filling. The dentist who specializes in RCT is called as Endodontist. It is always advised to know the root canal treatment cost beforehand.
As mentioned one needs to undergo RCT if he or she has an infected pulp and the infection can be due to various reasons such as:
- Tooth Decay
- Cracked or chipped tooth
- Defective crown
- Tooth injury
It is always advised to get the infected pulp treated because if not treated in time or left untreated it can worsen the condition and lead to abscess, bone infection & loss of tooth. The tooth that undergoes RCT last a lifetime. Not only does it protects your tooth but it also maintains healthy smile.
Endodontic Treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
What signs and symptoms show that you require Endodontic Treatment?
Signs to look for include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes as well as nearby bone and gum tissues. Sometimes, however, there may be no symptoms.
How does Endodontic Treatment save the tooth?
It is now fairly clear that we need Endodontic Treatment to remove infected pulp from root canal. It saves the tooth from further damage and extraction. It keeps the tooth anchored in the bone which helps it in biting and chewing.
The most important step after RCT is crown placement as the endodontically treated tooth becomes brittle & prone to fracture. The care is quite simple and includes just the regular dental hygiene such as Brushing, Flossing, Rinsing, Healthy Diet and a Dental Check-up after every six months. RCT prevents bacteria to enter through bloodstreams which can be the reason of other health issues.
Will the patient feel pain during or after the procedure?
Many Endodontic procedures are performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation or infection. With modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients are comfortable during the procedure.
For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow your Endodontist’s instructions carefully.
Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your Endodontic Treatment is completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure or pain that lasts more than a few days, call your Endodontist.
Step-by-Step Endodontic Procedure
Root Canal Abscess Endodontic Treatment can often be performed in one or two visits and involves the following steps:
1. The 1st step is to take an x-ray. This is done to determine if there is any sign of infection in the bone. This will help to see the shape of root canals. A local anesthesia is then administered by the endodontist to make the patient more relaxed and at ease. It is important to keep the area dry therefore, a rubber dam sheet is placed around the tooth to isolate it from saliva.
2. After isolation an access cavity is prepared in order to gain access to its nerve space (pulp chamber). Endodontist will use their dental drill to make an opening in the crown that extends through the surface of your tooth to its pulp chamber. When creating the access cavity, the dentist will also remove all tooth decay & any loose or fragile portions of the tooth or its filling.
3. The Endodontist will then use a canal filling called gutta-percha (a biocompatible material) to fill root canal. To ensure complete sealing of root canals gutta-percha is placed with an adhesive cement. Initially a temporary filling is placed to close the opening and once the tooth is restored the temporary filling is removed.
4. In order to protect and restore it to function fully, have a crown or restoration placed on the tooth.
5 One should also be aware of the root canal cost in advance to smoothen the process.
If the tooth lacks sufficient structure to hold the restoration in place, your dentist or Endodontist may place a post inside the tooth. Ask your dentist or Endodontist for more details about the specific restoration planned for your tooth.
Will the tooth need any special care or additional treatment after Endodontic Treatment?
It is always advised to not chew or bite with the tooth treated until it is totally restored by your dentist. One should look for crowns as early as advised by doctors because unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture. Practice good oral hygiene like brushing, flossing, regular check-ups and cleaning.
Can all teeth be treated endodontically?
Most teeth can be treated. Occasionally, a tooth can’t be saved because the root canals are not accessible, the root is severely fractured, the tooth doesn’t have adequate bone support, or the tooth cannot be restored. However, advances in Endodontics are making it possible to save teeth that even a few years ago would have been lost. When Endodontic Treatment is not effective, Endodontic Surgery may be able to save the tooth.
What is a Root Canal Procedure?
When the tooth is damaged badly or there is infection in the roots of the tooth then it has to undergo Root Canal Treatment. Root Canal Treatment helps to repair and save the tooth damaged. The dentist who specializes in it is called ‘Endodontist’.
During the procedure the tooth is cleaned by removing the nerve and pulp which is then sealed. If not treated on time it can infect the surrounding tooth and can cause abscesses.
Since the main function of tooth nerve is to provide the sensation of hot & cold therefore it do not affect the day-to-day working of the tooth. As a result people tend to ignore the infection at initial stage but with time the infection spreads and then the tooth has to undergo the process of Root Canal Treatment.
Why does Tooth Pulp need to be removed?
Tooth pulp commonly known as dental pulp is part of tooth that contains soft tissues. It consists of nerve, blood vessels and connective tissues. The root of tooth and pulp are connected via root canals. They connect tip of tooth root to pulp chamber.
When the tissue inside the pulp chamber suffer from major damage which is irreversible or are exposed from trauma then it suffers from inflammation which leads to degradation. This results not only in tooth pain but also can spread the infection to other body parts.
Root Canal Treatment removes the pulp thus saving the tooth and any further damage related to it.
Signs that one needs to undergo Root Canal Treatment
We now know why we need to undergo RCT.
The signs of the same are as below:
- Severe toothache
- Swelling in the nearby gums
- Tender pain while chewing or applying pressure
- Tooth Discoloration
- Prolonged Sensitivity
What happens during a Root Canal procedure?
A root canal requires one or more office visits and can be performed by a dentist or Endodontist. An Endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the human dental pulp or the nerve of the tooth. The choice of which type of dentist to use depends to some degree on the difficulty of the root canal procedure needed in your particular tooth and the general dentist’s comfort level in working on your tooth. Your dentist will discuss who might be best suited to perform the work in your particular case.
The first step in the procedure is to take an X-ray to see the shape of the root canals and determine if there are any signs of infection in a surrounding bone. Your dentist or Endodontist will then use local anesthesia to numb the area near the tooth. Anesthesia may not be necessary, since the nerve is dead, but most dentists still anesthetize the area to make the patient more relaxed and at ease.
Next, to keep the area dry and free of saliva during treatment, your dentist will place a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) around the tooth.
An access hole will then be drilled into the tooth. The pulp along with bacteria, the decayed nerve tissue and related debris is removed from the tooth. The cleaning out process is accomplished using root canal files. A series of these files of increasing diameter are each subsequently placed into the access hole and worked down the full length of the tooth to scrape and scrub the sides of the root canals. Water or sodium hypochlorite is used periodically to flush away the debris.
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it is sealed. Some dentists like to wait a week before sealing the tooth. For instance, if there is an infection, your dentist may put a medication inside the tooth to clear it up. Others may choose to seal the tooth the same day it is cleaned out. If the root canal is not completed on the same day, a temporary filling is placed in the exterior hole in the tooth to keep out contaminants like saliva and food between appointments.
How successful are the Root Canal Treatment?
The success rate of Root Canal Treatment is quite high. It is believed that tooth fixed through RCT lasts a lifetime.
There are chances that onlookers will not even know that one has undergone root canal as application of restorations such as crown or fillings was performed.
Complications of a Root Canal procedure
Despite your dentist’s best efforts to clean and seal a tooth, new infections might emerge after a root canal. Among the likely reasons for this include:
- More than the normally anticipated number of root canals in a tooth (leaving one of them uncleaned)
- An undetected crack in the root of a tooth
- A defective or inadequate dental restoration that has allowed bacteria to get past the restoration into the inner aspects of the tooth and decontaminate the area
- A breakdown of the inner sealing material over time, allowing bacteria to decontaminate the inner aspects of the tooth
Sometimes retreatment can be successful, other times Endodontic surgery can be tried in order to save the tooth. The most common Endodontic surgical procedure is an Apicoectomy or root-end resection. This procedure relieves the inflammation or infection in the bony area around the end of your tooth that continues after Endodontic Treatment. In this procedure, the gum tissue is opened, the infected tissue is removed, and sometimes the very end of the root is removed. A small filling may be placed to seal the root canal.
Alternatives to a Root Canal procedure
Saving your natural teeth is the very best option, if possible. Your natural teeth allow you to eat a wide variety of foods necessary to maintain proper nutrition. The root canal procedure is the treatment of choice.
The only alternative to a root canal procedure is having the tooth extracted and replaced with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. These alternatives not only are more expensive than a root canal procedure but require more treatment time and additional procedures to adjacent teeth and supporting tissues.
Before & After Picture Gallery
A Tooth-Coloured filling
Silver Fillings replaced with Composite
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