Easily one of the most feared and yet most avoidable treatments in medical history. There’s a lot of fear and many misconceptions about the concept of a root canal. So let’s break it down for you to understand what is a root canal and when you or your loved ones may need one. Root canal treatment is recommended when decay in the mouth (popularly known as a cavity) reaches the third and innermost layer of your tooth.(The teeth are made of 2 hard layers of enamel and Dentin and a soft layer of nerves and blood vessels called the pulp)
It’s when decay reaches this pulp layer is when a patient needs to get a root canal treatment
This procedure involves:
Getting rid of decay
Dissolving the soft layer of nerves that cause pain
Shaping the area to receive a filling
Placing the soft filling
Reconstructing the hard layers of the tooth
Sounds simple enough so what’s all the hoopla about?? The reason for the unpopularity or urban myths around this treatment is Step number 2 when done wrong can be extremely painful. The earlier concept of pulling out the nerve is now replaced by just dissolving it (much more humane) and of course Pain Free. That being said “Prevention is always the best remedy” Fortunately root canals take months and sometime years of neglect before developing so here are your warning signs.
#1-Long term food lodgement
If you are looking for toothpicks after every meal chances are that there’s a tooth in the back of your mouth that has been trapping everything you eat for a few months.This food getting stuck indicates a gap or breach in your teeth which starts of small and then becomes huge as even an entire piece of your tooth may have broken off.Initially, the food gets annoying but over time when it gets stuck can trigger of a lot of
#2 – Feeling a hole in the mouth
While brushing and with your tongue you clearly feel a hole in your mouth like a piece of a tooth broken off or a gaping hole that catches everything Depending on the size of this hole and even the duration since it’s happened and you first noticed it are both directly proportional to the chances of it needing a root canal treatment. So any hole u notice should be checked on high priority
#3 – Heightened sensitivity and inability to chew
If any area in the mouth is sensitive to hot cold or sweet foods so much so that the sensation lingers on for a few minutes and you tend to chew on the other side. It definitely implies you need a dental visit most likely for a deep filling or a root canal therapy.
#4 – Taking painkillers to soothe your pain
Maybe you’re too busy or just too scared to make an appointment but if you’re already on painkillers to dull your pain, chances are you’ll need a RCT. The painkillers may work for a while but will soon become ineffective as the infection grows.
#5 -Shooting Pain in the night
This is typical of a root canal patient who can’t sleep at night due to the pressure change in the nerve (pulp chamber) which occurs in the lying down position and triggers of major discomfort in any position. The idea is not to let it get to this stage.
Even if you are positive for some or all of these signs,It’s best to get yourself treated at the earliest as the higher Price to pay would be losing the tooth altogether. *A crown is often needed to reinforce and strengthen the remaining tooth structure. So no matter your stage of decay get it checked as soon as possible so you don’t have to endure the dreaded root canal and even if you do ensure you get it treated the painless way 😉