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A root canal, also called endodontics, is a dental procedure to treat infection at the center of a tooth. It can repair or save a tooth that is infected or badly decayed instead of removing it. The term “root canal” comes from the act of cleaning the canal inside the tooth’s root.
With dental advances and the help of local anesthetics, a root canal is not painful. During the procedure, your dentist removes the pulp and the nerve, then the bacteria are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned. The final step is sealing the inside of the tooth with a filling or crown.
A root canal is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can leave the medical facility straight after the procedure. However, you need to stay in Thailand for around 2 to 7 days, especially if your tooth has several roots that require more than 1 appointment.
Your tooth may feel sensitive for a few days after a root canal. Over-the-counter painkillers will help you with any discomfort. You can go back to work and return to your normal routine the next day or as soon as you arrive in your home country.
After a root canal, you should avoid biting on hard foods for a few days. You also need to keep your teeth clean, limit sugary food, and give up smoking to avoid further root canal treatment.
The root canal procedure is almost always successful, with over 95% success rate. Many teeth fixed with this procedure can last for 10 years to a lifetime. The side effect of a root canal is tooth sensitivity, but this will subside within a few days. The risks include the loss of the tooth or abscess development on the tooth, but this is very rare.
If you are apprehensive about a root canal, your alternatives include tooth extraction and replacing it with a dental implant, bridge, or partial denture to restore your chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting.
An infected or a badly decayed tooth is painful, and they can interfere with your life. After a root canal procedure, you will no longer feel any pain and you can enjoy your life again.
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