Illustration of the dental root canal process

MY RECENT ROOT CANAL EXPERIENCE

Published On April 4, 2017 | By Anna McDonald | Dental

Introduction

On a recent visit to my Dentist, I came to know that I had to get Root Canal treatment on one of my Tooth. Suddenly there were so many questions popping up in my head. I have heard many stories that Root Canal treatment can be very painful. Usually, I avoid getting Dental procedures done due to fear or apprehension and anxiety.

However, my recent experience of having the Root Canal treatment was not only positive in terms of treatment outcome but also taught me the importance of maintaining a good Oral health.

The Internet is full of so many blog posts explaining the entire procedure of Root Canal treatment. However, I want to share my story and Research, so that people can have a virtual experience of the Root Canal treatment.

Before the diagnosis

I was having severe pain in my upper left back Tooth for a long time. The pain was initially dull, but with time, it aggravated. Especially, while drinking hot water, I experienced acute pain in my tooth. I had caries in that Tooth and my Dentist had advised me to get it restored. However, I avoided going for the procedure due to anxiety. After many sleepless nights due to the excruciating pain, I finally decided to visit my Dentist.

The diagnosis

During my appointment, the Dentist first examined the Tooth. He tapped the Tooth and also took a few digital X-rays. He asked me many questions related to the type of pain, my systemic health, allergies, etc. After the clinical tests, the Dentist finally announced that my tooth was severely decayed and I had to undergo Root Canal treatment if I wanted to save the Tooth.

Illustration of the dental root canal process

Illustration of the dental root canal process

My Reaction

I was completely reluctant for the treatment because of the associated ‘pain’ factor. Still, at the same time, I wanted to save my Tooth. My biggest nightmare that I will lose my Tooth was coming into reality. I didn’t want that to happen and so I decided to talk with my Dentist to clarify all my doubts.

I wanted to share my education of Root Canal here.

What is a root canal treatment and why do I need it?

A Root Canal treatment is a Dental procedure done to save a tooth. It can be indicated in various situations when the pulp, the inner layer of the tooth is inflamed or infected. The pulp gives innervation to the tooth. When a Root Canal treatment is advised, the Tooth is almost or completely dead as the pulp is infected.

I was having long-standing, dull aching pain in my Tooth. However, in many cases the disorders of Tooth Pulp may present with signs like a swelling in the Mouth, severe pain referring till the ear and others. An intentional Root Canal treatment may also be indicated when the tooth proves to be in a proposed danger of getting endodontically infected at a later stage.

Is Root Canal treatment painful?

This was the part I was most worried about. To my surprise, the Dentist told me that the procedure would relieve the pain. It will remove the infection and heal the Tooth. Also, she mentioned that my Root Canal treatment will be done under local sedation and so it would be completely painless.

Is there any other alternative treatment procedure?

The Root Canal treatment saves the natural Tooth. One can also go for Tooth Extraction, but in that case, the Tooth has to be replaced by an artificial restoration. This can cost more money and surgery may be needed if Implants are placed.

What is the success rate of Root Canal treatment?

The success rate of Root Canal treatment is nearly 99%. A Tooth that is treated by Root Canal treatment is meant to last forever. However, it is extremely important to maintain proper Oral hygiene for the longevity of the Tooth. The Periodontal Infections or the Gum Infections can also be a cause of failed RCT in many cases.

The overall success of the treatment also depends upon the presence of complications like extremely curved Roots or an increased number of accessory Canals that are difficult to fill, the Sterilization protocol followed during the treatment and the expertise of the Dentist.

Is Root Canal treatment necessary for me?

The Infection in my Tooth involved the Pulp and so it was necessary for me to go for RCT (Root Canal Therapy). If I delayed the treatment this time, I would have to face with consequences like tooth fracture, swelling in the mouth, the propagation of pus to distant tissues in the body, change in the tooth color and even tooth loss. The consequences sounded more dreadful than the actual treatment!

The treatment

After all my questions were answered, I finally decided to undergo the treatment. Most of the people who fear that RCT is painful will be astonished to know that I didn’t experience any pain during the treatment. To my surprise the treatment was completed within one appointment as the Dentist decided to go for single sitting RCT.

I searched on the Internet for scientific shreds of evidence and found that RCT is beneficial for the tooth. It can be done in a single appointment and even few more appointments may be necessary if the personal situation demands.

There are three basic steps in a Root Canal treatment. In the first step, the dentist drills the Tooth and gains access to the root canal. He then cleans it with small, sharp instruments called ‘files.’ He also uses chemical agents during the cleaning process. In this step, all the dead tissue and debris will be removed and finally, the Dentist will pack the Root Canals with an artificial filling material called gutta-percha. He may manually condense the gutta-percha with hand instruments or may even use special instruments like a gun to dispense the warm gutta-percha.

The dental crown

Once my treatment was finished, the Dentist told me that another appointment would be needed for the fabrication of Dental Crown.

After the Root Canal treatment, the Tooth becomes dead and the chances of tooth fracture are high. So, to reinforce the strength of the Tooth, a restoration or a Dental Crown may be needed. I went for a zirconia Crown. Nevertheless, there are different varieties available. It is always better to talk with your Dentist about the best option.

Post-treatment

I was back in my office the same day as the whole procedure took only two hours. My Dentist advised not to eat from the left side of the mouth till the Crown was placed. This is because the Tooth was still weak and there could be a risk of Tooth fracture. However, I experienced mild pain on the first day, but I took the medicines as per my Dentist recommendations. The pain occurs as the tissues take some time to heal and it usually wanes off within two days. I was on the clear the next day of the Treatment.

Who can do a root canal treatment?

A root canal treatment can be done by a Dentist or Endodontist. I got my tooth treated from Dentist Plano TX. An Endodontist is a Dentist who has special expertise in the discipline of root canal treatment and other endodontic procedures. He/she is specifically trained for the effective management of the disorders affecting the pulp. In complicated cases and even in cases of failed RCTs, the Dentists would refer their patients to an Endodontist.

Conclusion

I am happily posing for selfies and enjoying my favorite dishes. Proper knowledge and guidance helped me to take the decision and gave me the courage for getting the treatment. I hope others can also save their white pearls and have a brightening, dazzling smile after reading this post.

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