A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it. It is done when the pulp (soft tissue inside a tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue) becomes inflamed or infected.
A root canal involves removing the damaged pulp, disinfecting the inside of the tooth, and filling and sealing the remaining space. This article will examine 10 reasons why root canal is done or may be necessary.
Table of Contents
The pulp can become irritated or infected due to:
Tooth decay breaks down enamel and dentin, allowing bacteria to infect the pulp (7 why root canal is done). As decay reaches the pulp, it causes inflammation and infection. A root canal is needed to remove the decay and save the tooth.
Repeated Dental Procedures
Multiple fillings, especially those deep in the tooth, can damage the pulp over time. The trauma causes inflammation that necessitates a root canal.
Cracks or Chips
Cracks from an injury or excessive biting forces can allow bacteria to seep in and infect the pulp. Failing to treat cracks leads to pulp inflammation and eventual necrosis.
A blow to a tooth may sever blood vessels, causing internal bleeding in the pulp. Without treatment, bacteria invade and inflate the damaged pulp. A root canal is required to clear out the infection.
Symptoms Requiring Root Canal Treatment
There are several key signs that indicate pulp inflammation and the need for a root canal:
As the infection spreads within the tooth, it presses on the nerves, causing intense throbbing pain. This is often worse at night and requires a root canal to eliminate the inflamed pulp.
The loss of protective enamel allows hot/cold liquids or air to trigger sharp pain. Root canal treatment is necessary to remove the inflamed nerve.
Swelling & Tenderness
An abscess forms at the tooth’s root as pus builds up from the infection. The area becomes tender and swollen. Antibiotics and root canal treatment drain the abscess.
Dead and dying tissue in the pulp causes the tooth to darken. A root canal is needed to stop the necrosis and restore normal tooth color.
When is Root Canal Necessary
There are certain situations that indicate a root canal is absolutely necessary:
|If irreversible pulpitis is present, the inflamed or infected pulp must be removed with a root canal. This intense inflammation cannot heal on its own.
|Advanced periodontal disease may expose dentin tubules in the roots. Root canal treatment is needed to clean infection from the tubules.
|Before a Crown or Bridge
|The tooth must first have a root canal if it has deep decay or cracks that reach the pulp. This prevents future infection underneath the crown or bridge.
|Following Tooth Repair
|Some fractures below the gumline require a root canal to stabilize the tooth before restoring the visible crown.
|A root canal must be done to drain an abscess and remove all infected material. This allows healing and prevents the infection from spreading.
The Root Canal Procedure
Root canal treatment involves several steps:
|Numbing the Tooth
|Local anesthesia is administered to fully numb the tooth and prevent any discomfort.
|Accessing the Pulp
|A small hole is created through the biting surface of the tooth to access the infected or inflamed pulp.
|The diseased pulp is carefully extracted. The root canals are cleaned, enlarged, and shaped with tiny instruments.
|The entire inner tooth is disinfected with antiseptic rinses. Any bacteria and diseased tissue are removed.
|Filling Root Canals
|The clean and shaped canals are filled with an inert rubbery material. The access hole is then sealed.
|Restoring the Tooth
|A filling or crown is placed to restore the visible part of the tooth. Over time, the bone heals around the root.
Root Canal Success Rate
With modern techniques, root canal success rates are very high:
- Initial success is over 95%
- Of initial successes, the tooth remains functional for over 8 – 10 years in 86% – 97% of cases
- For front teeth, success rate is 97%
- For premolars, success rate is 94%
- For molars, success rate is 86% – 91%
Proper restoration of the tooth after root canal improves long-term prognosis. An endodontically treated tooth can last a lifetime with a crown.
When Root Canal Fails
In some cases, a small percentage of root canals may fail over time. This occurs when:
- The infection returns if the canal was not properly cleaned and disinfected
- The tooth fractures due to trauma or decay
- Undetected tiny canals were left untreated
Often, retreatment can save a failed root canal. The tooth may require an apicoectomy if infection persists. As a last resort, extraction is needed for a hopeless tooth.
Root Canal Aftercare
Proper at-home care after root canal treatment ensures success and longevity of the tooth. Patients must:
- Take prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection
- Avoid chewing hard foods temporarily
- Maintain excellent oral hygiene
- Get regular dental cleanings and exams
- Restore the tooth with a filling or crown
- Wear a mouthguard if playing contact sports
Root canal treatment is an effective procedure to remove inflamed or infected pulp when conservative methods cannot save a tooth. Modern techniques yield very high long-term success rates over 90%.
With proper restoration and care, most endodontically treated teeth can function normally for years after. Regular dental exams help detect issues early to maintain tooth viability.
In cases of root canal failure, retreatment or apicoectomy may still save a tooth. As experts in root canal therapy, the endodontists in Dubai utilize advanced tools and methods for optimal patient outcomes.