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To Learn More about Root Canal Therapy

1. What is root canal therapy?

Also known as root canal therapy / endodontic therapy to preserve teeth and avoid tooth extraction. The dentist will remove infected parts together with nerves and blood vessels in the pulps, and then fill the roots with materials to prevent bacteria from re-growing.

After receiving root canal therapy, the inflammation and pain of the infected teeth will subside. Since the nerves and blood vessels in the pulps have been removed, the teeth become fragile and cannot feel cold and hot.

2. Why do you need root canal therapy?

The most common cause is the infection of dental pulps. Dental pulps contain blood vessels and nerve cords, which are surrounded and protected by hard enamel and dentin. However, when the external tissues of teeth are damaged, there will be leakages. Severe tooth decay or the reoccurrence of tooth decay at filled areas, cracks or even ruptures caused by teeth injuries or sports traumas, external stimuli such as temperature changes as well as sweet and sour tastes will result in different degrees of reactions of dental pulps, such as sensitivity or even tingling. What's more, bacteria in the oral cavity invade pulp tissues through the areas with leakage, causing pulp inflammation and pain. Persistent inflammation will cause acute pulpitis, of which the pain can make people sleepless at night.

3. What is the procedure of root canal therapy?

There are usually six steps in root canal therapy:

X-ray: usually, the dentist will take an X-ray first to observe the shape and length of the root canal of the teeth to be treated, to confirm whether the tooth decay has spread to adjacent teeth or alveolar bone and led to periodontal disease.

Administer local anesthesia: the dentist will administer an appropriate amount of local anesthesia according to the patient’s conditions to reduce discomfort caused by the course of treatment.

Open up pulp chamber: remove the tooth decay and old fillings and open up the pulp chamber.

Remove infected tissue: the dentist will expand the root canal, remove necrotic tissues and rinse the root canal with liquid medicine to treat the source of infection and bacteria in the root canal.

Insert medicine for temporary sealing: after cleaning, root canal medicine will be inserted to temporarily seal the root canal. The teeth’s conditions will be followed up a week later.

Root canal sealing: after confirming that the root canal is cleaned as much as possible and free from inflammation, the dentist will seal the root canal with a special material called Gutta Percha to ensure the firm sealing of the root canal system.

After root canal therapy, crowns are usually placed on the teeth. In addition to restoring the original shape and biting function, they can also protect the fragile teeth and prevent the teeth from breaking due to structural defects and wear. After completing the whole treatment, regular follow-up visits are required, so that the dentist can regularly follow up with the conditions of the teeth and deal with any dental problems immediately.

4. Frequently asked questions about root canal therapy:

Does root canal therapy hurt?

This is the most worrying problem for most patients, also the root cause of delayed treatment. Besides the slight stinging pain during anesthesia, there will be almost no pain during the treatment. Patients who are afraid of pain do not need to worry. Missing the opportunity for treatment because of the fear will cause even more serious toothache.

Is it necessary to wear braces after root canal therapy?

After root canal therapy, the pulps are completely removed. The teeth without nutrient supply will become fragile, so usually the dentist will recommend having braces after the therapy to prevent the teeth from cracking while chewing. Although braces are expensive, they are necessary considering that teeth are priceless and braces can effectively protect them.

he teeth that have been killed have lost their use?

After root canal therapy, the teeth have lost their ability to feel temperature changes with the removal of all blood vessels and nerves. However, the chewing sensation remains because the periodontal tissue supporting the teeth is still intact. With regular follow-up visits as well as proper use and maintenance (such as using braces and regular follow-up visits), the teeth are actually no different from other healthy teeth. Studies show that the success rate of root canal therapy reaches 85% 至 90%