Root canal treatments are one of the most common dental procedures performed in the United States. Almost 15 million endodontic procedures are performed every year to treat root canal infections. The American Association of Endodontics has recorded this data.
However, being the most common dental treatment, root canal therapy still strikes fear in the minds of the people. Most of them are unaware that root canal treatments are relatively painless and straightforward procedures. Typically root canal treatment is performed to remove the infected pulp tissue and clean the canals of the tooth root. Moreover, after disinfection, the tooth is filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha.
Usually, root canal treatment is relatively easy to perform in the front tooth as compared to the molars due to several reasons. The front tooth has a single root canal, and there is less probability of finding an accessory or lateral canals in the front tooth. Today’s article will highlight the root canal procedure for a front tooth. Furthermore, we will check the complications and benefits of root canal treatment in the front tooth.
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is an endodontic procedure which is usually performed by general dentists or root canal specialists. The prime purpose of this treatment is to remove the infected pulp tissue and disinfect the tooth to save it for long term use. (1) Typically, a root canal treatment is performed for the following reasons –
- Tooth abscess
- Root canal infection
- Fractured tooth
- Extensive tooth cavity
- Deep tooth decay
- Infected pulp
How is root canal treatment performed on a front tooth?
Generally, a dentist will examine the front tooth to look for signs of infection and inflammation. Moreover, x-ray studies help to evaluate the extent of tooth damage and determine the need for root canal treatment. Once the dentist has decided to go ahead with the root canal treatment, the following procedure is performed for the front tooth –
- The tooth and the surrounding soft tissue is numbed using a local anesthetic
- A barrier such as a rubber dam is placed around the tooth to isolate it from the gums and other tissues. This reduces harm to the gums from the medicinal agents used for the disinfection of the tooth. Moreover, it prevents contamination.
- The dentist then drills the tooth to remove the decayed portion of the tooth and access the canal orifice.
- Endodontic files are used to remove the infected pulp and clean the root canal. Usually, front teeth have a single root canal. (2)
- A disinfectant such as sodium hypochlorite is used to clean the canals thoroughly.
- Once the canals are clean, they are air-dried and filled with a polymer filler called gutta-percha
- The access opening is sealed with a temporary filling to protect the tooth from re-infection. During this time, the patient can decide the type of restorative prosthesis suitable for his case.
- The dentist usually gives a day or two to allow healing of the root canal. Once the root canal is healed, the temporary material is removed, and the tooth is filled with a permanent tooth filling.
- The tooth is trimmed and prepared to fit the dental crown or bridge. However, this step depends on the extent of tooth damage. (3)
What are the complications of root canal treatment?
While the root canal procedure is relatively simple and convenient to perform, the patients may feel slight pain after the procedure. This happens due to extensive instrumentation that widens the root canal. However, this pain goes away on its own within a few days of the treatment. Some of the severe complications of root canal treatment that you must be aware of are listed below –
- Pus discharge from the tooth
- The swollen gum tissue around the treated tooth
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Uneven bite due to high points in the restoration (4)
- Pain that lasts more than two to three days
What are the benefits of root canal treatment on a front tooth?
There are several benefits of root canal treatment in the front tooth –
- Root canals in the front tooth are easy to access as they are single canals present at the center of the tooth.
- The pulp of the front tooth is thinner as compared to that of the molars
- Local anesthesia acts faster while numbing the tooth and gums (5)
- The recovery time for front toot is shorter post-treatment
- Often the front tooth with minimal damage to the tooth structure doesn’t require replacement with a dental crown.
What is the cost of root canal treatment on the front tooth?
Root canals for front teeth are covered by most of the dental insurance plans. The cost of the treatment typically depends on the specialty of the dentist and the type of front tooth. Moreover, the requirement of a dental restoration may increase the cost of treatment.
However, root canal treatments for front teeth are relatively less expensive as compared to that of the molars and premolars. On average the cost of root canal treatment for front tooth may range between $300 – $1500 per tooth
Take away message
Root canal treatments are typically performed to save the tooth with infected pulp. Usually, the dentist determines the need for root canal therapy by examining the tooth and recording dental x-rays.
Root canal treatment for a front tooth is relatively easy and straightforward to perform as it contains a single root canal. Moreover, the front tooth doesn’t require dental restoration post-treatment in most cases. Numbing the front tooth is much easier as compared to molars.
The procedure of root canal for a front tooth is similar to the natural root canal therapy for any tooth. There might be some complications that a person can experience post-treatment. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the mishaps of the root canal. If you have a broken tooth or severe tooth pain due to infection, talk to your dentist, and get a consultation for root canal treatment.