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FAQ:  Root Canal Therapy RCT



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Question:
I hate to bother you but I don't know where to turn and am very concerned about my teeth. First of all I noticed a lump on my gum and went to the dentist who said the tooth had an abcess although I didn't have much pain from the tooth recently and even before hand it was not too bad. She has given me root canal treatment.

My questions is: The dentist said that I should follow up the treatment within 5-7 days but when I asked at the reception for an appointment she said she could only give me one in 3 weeks. When I questioned the wisdom of going against the dentist order she said "I know what root canal is and it can wait the extra 2 weeks." Since my lump is still there I am getting worried and also getting worried because there are other lumps in the gums but no pain.

Also is there somewhere that I can read about abcess and root canal in an easy form. I have read the faq here and it is very useful but I feel some more reading would be helpful. ...Visitor from London, England United Kingdom

Answer:
An abcess is the acute proliferation of the infamatory repsonse to what is seen as a forgein body. The nerve in the tooth is being recognized as a foriegn body (possibly due to a bacerial infection from a cavity or periodontal disease) or trauma and the death of the nerve.

A root canal is the removal of this nerve tissue from within the tooth. The pictures of a root canal in the text books and the x-ray makes it appear to be as if there is one line which is the nerve and one hole which it enters the bottom(apex) of the tooth. This is not a true repesentation of the root canal. A better repesentation would be like a root from a weed that has a tap root and root hairs coming off of it. The root hairs can hold bacteria and dead nerve tissue and can be the source of failed root canal therapy.

Oftentimes the root canal therapy can be finished at the same time it is started and frequently this is the best time for the inside of the tooth may be the most sterile at that time. However there are times when the infection is so large that you may want to remove the nerve and wait for a little time to allow the body to heal the infection.

Waiting in this time manner is not a problem and if the appointment can not be scheduled quickly there is little danger of larger problems occuring as long as the nerve has been totally removed. Keep the area clean.

The receptionist should have contacted the doctor about the time delay in treatment and have the dentist decide when the most appropriate course of action is to be taken.

Reading material recommended is a book on Endodontict therapy (root Canals) and a book on inflamation and infection and/or a medical text on blood.

Editorial Staff

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