Treatment for pulpitis and complications
Ever suffered from toothache so long that you have to bite the bullet and give your dentist a visit, only to find out you have something called “pulpitis”? As reality sinks in, your mind floats away to all the expensive treatment cost and complicated procedures.
Fret not! Although nobody wants pulpitis, it’s not that hard to treat. Here’s what you should know before diving into treatment for pulpitis.
What is pulpitis?
A tooth has a root and a crown. The crown is the part visible from the gum line, meanwhile, the root is deep underneath, connecting the tooth to the jaw bone. Inside each tooth, there’s one or several root canals containing nerve tissues, blood vessels, and other tissues, all of which are known as the pulp.
If you have a tooth that’s cracked or not filled properly, bacteria may get in, resulting in pulpitis. When you have pulpitis, your pulp tissues are damaged, or basically dead. Infection of the pulp causes pain that persists over a long time. Therefore, it’s important to seek treatment to get rid of the infection and prevent it from spreading to other parts.
Root canal treatment (also known as endodontic therapy) aims to remove the nerves from your pulp. All of the inflamed pulp tissues will be taken out, making sure your entire tooth (both the crown and the root) is free from infection and you won’t have to have your tooth extracted.
Root canal procedure
Once damaged, the pulp can’t repair itself and will gradually die down. That’s why as soon as you suspect pulpitis, you should visit your dentist to seek proper treatment. Usually, root canal treatment involves 3 main steps and requires 1-3 visits to complete.
1. Prepare the root canals
First, your dentist will get rid of everything inside your root canals, including the damaged and dead pulp tissues.
2. Fill up the root canals
Next, your dentist will clean the root canals, reshape, and sterilize the space inside. Then, dental fillings will be used to seal up the tooth.
After root canal, your tooth is dead. You will no longer feel pain in this tooth as all the nerve tissues are gone and the infected pulp has also been removed as well.
3. Place a protective crown
Although your tooth doesn’t cause you pain anymore, it’s also more vulnerable. After the pulp is extracted, your tooth becomes more prone to damage and has to receive nourishment from the ligaments. Over time, it may get brittle and is likely to break. Therefore, it needs to be protected with a porcelain crown.
In the 3rd step of root canal treatment, your dentist will place a porcelain crown on the treated tooth. After it’s done, your tooth will look exactly like a natural tooth. However, you shouldn’t bite down on hard foods with this tooth as it’s still not as tough as natural teeth.
Complications of root canal treatment
Sometimes, the tooth may not grow as it should have. It may develop sideways or back into the jaw bone. If that’s the case, the root canals will not be straight, but rather curved and with twists and turns. This makes root canal treatment even harder to be performed properly.
If your dentist isn’t experienced enough or if the clinic isn’t equipped with modern, high-quality dental instruments, the infected pulp may not be removed completely and will continue to spread the infection to your bone, causing excruciating pain.
It’s also important to make sure your dentist uses enough dental fillings (the most commonly used material is root canal cement) to fill up the root canals. If these root canals aren’t completely filled, the infection may recur.
During the course of a root canal treatment, the tooth root may crack or the root canals may break, making it hard to apply dental fillings.
To avoid complications, you should always follow your dentist’s recommendations. It’s recommended that you take antibiotics to prevent infection (if necessary) and come back for crown placement after a few weeks to complete the treatment.
How to prevent cavities and pulpitis?
If you don’t want to go through the discomfort of root canal treatment, it’s best to prevent cavities by:
- Brushing your teeth 30 minutes after every meal with a toothpaste containing fluoride.
- Floss right after meals to remove food debris and prevent plaque build-ups which may cause cavities.
- Stay away from sugary foods and beverages. If you do eat those, clean your teeth properly afterwards.
- Visit your dentist once every 6 months to get timely diagnosis and treatment for any oral diseases.
Healthy, radiant teeth are what makes a beautiful smile. How to best take care of your oral health? It’s recommended that you and your family should visit your dentist once every 6 months to get timely diagnosis and treatment for any oral problems.
Visit Rose Dental Clinic at 30-36 Phan Boi Chau Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, HCMC.
Phone: +84 908 321 455
Hotline: 1900 633584
Your and your family’s teeth will always stay in best shape!