How a tooth decays?
Enamel is the hardest outer layer of a tooth. Dentin is the next softer layer beneath the enamel. Beneath the dentin is the pulp which contains nerve and blood vessels.
If the tooth is not cleaned well, bacteria accumulates on tooth surface , produce acid which demineralises the enamel. This leads to cavity / decay/caries formation. This cavity has to be cleaned and filled by a dentist. If its not treated, the decay reaches into the dentin , the softer layer. This might lead to sensitivity to cold.
If left untreated, the decay spreads deeper into the pulp which leads to pain. At this stage Root Canal Treatment(R.C.T) has to be done.
Some indications of Root Canal Treatment may be:
• Spontaneous pain or throbbing.
• Pain while biting or chewing.
• Severe decay up till the nerve / pulp chamber or injury that causes an abscess (infection) in the bone surrounding the tooth.
• Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures (after the hot or cold has been removed).
• Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth.
• Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums.
• A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
Treatment procedure of R.C.T :
After the tooth is anesthetized, an opening is made through the crown into the pulp chamber.
The lengths of the roots' canals are determined.
Unhealthy pulp is removed. Canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped using progressively larger endodontic files.
Canals are filled and sealed. Access opening is filled with a restorative material.
For further protection, a Crown is given for the tooth.
ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Article Compiled By:
Dr. Aman Arora
B.D.S., M.D.S (Prosthodontics)
Dentist in Ashok Vihar, North Delhi.