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Root Canal Treatment

"After all,your teeth should last you a lifetime !"

Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is one name that gives many patients shivers when told about it. However, in reality, it is a painless procedure. In fact, it is an instant pain reliever and the best treatment to retain the original teeth. A Root canal treated tooth serves its purpose and function just as a healthy tooth.

A root canal treatment is a very common procedure performed by dentist.

It is the treatment of infected and damaged pulp.

Pulp is the blood vessel and nerve of the tooth.

Problems with your root canal are often spotted while undergoing a regular dental check-up. If left untreated, root canal issues can often cause tooth loss!


Symptoms for Root Canal Treatment

There are two main symptoms are :

  • Pain on chewing

  • Sensitivity to hot cold and sweet

  • Pain in tooth increases while lying down

  • Deep cavity accompanying tooth pain.

X ray is taken to see the extend of the cavity or infection. The cavity is often located near the pulp and if the pulp has become infected then a Root Canal Treatment (RCT) will be necessary.

Root Canal Treatment (RCT) can be done in single visit but usually the procedure takes 2-3 visits depending on the extent of the infection of the tooth.

Procedure for Root Canal Treatment

A root canal procedure will remove all traces of infected tissue.

The procedure itself is usually carried out under a local anaesthetic, which means you will be conscious throughout.

Any infected tissue of the pulp will then be removed and any remaining nerve tissue will be removed from the root canals.

After cleaning of the infected tissue your root canal is widened so that it is ready for filling.

Before filling, your tooth will be disinfected.

A material called gutta-percha (G P points) will be pushed into the pulp to ensure a tight fit.

A temporary filling is applied first and then a permanent filling is placed.

A Root Canal Treatment (RCT) treated tooth becomes weak and prone to fracture or breakage so a CROWN should be placed on the tooth.


Aftercare following Root Canal Treatment

Once the root canal procedure is complete, the nerve extraction should have eliminated any pain. You should treat your affected tooth as you would your natural teeth.

It is important to maintain a good oral hygiene regime to make sure no more problems arise. Most dentists agree that you should clean your teeth and floss at least twice a day.

Root canal treatment is a method to clean roots by gaining access from the tooth with the help of Dental instruments and specific equipments. When the carious lesion reaches pulp (where all blood vessels are present), then the only option left is Root Canal Treatment (RCT). Sometimes carious lesion even extend from root to apex (where root ends), then extraction is advisable as Root Canal Treatment (RCT) will have poor prognosis in this case.

Time taken or sittings involved during Root Canal Treatment (RCT) depends upon the extent of infection in tooth.


Steps involved in Root Canal Treatment (RCT) are as follows:

Gaining Access to Root canals:

Access from the surface of the tooth(crown) is gained with the help of Drilling instrument . Normally there are 3 canals in molars, 2 canals in premolars and 1 canal in Incisors and canine. Number of root canals can vary in tooth from person to person, it is never fixed.

Cleaning and Shaping of Root canals

Once the access is gained, then with the help of instrument known as files as shown in figure, Canals are cleaned. To avoid friction and proper cleaning disinfectant solution known as sodium hypochlorite is used.

It removes all the debris and infection from the canals and makes them sterile. It usually takes 2 sittings, but if infection is less than it can be completed in 1 sitting also. After the thorough cleaning, temporary filling is placed in tooth and patient is asked to come after 2 days.

Filling of Root canals

Once the canals are cleaned, and then canals are properly dried with the help of paper points and filled. Canals are filled tightly with Gutta percha points (GP points). After filling of root canals, Permanent filling is placed in tooth; normally permanent filling does not last long. Always Crown is mandatory after Root Canal Treatment (RCT) as tooth becomes weak from inside. To avoid further fracture of tooth, crown is mandatory.

Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is one name that gives many patients shivers when told about it. However, in reality, it is not that bad. Infact, it is an instant pain reliever and the best treatment to retain the original teeth. A Root canal treated tooth serves its purpose and function just as a healthy tooth.


Some frequently asked questions regarding Root Canal Treatment (RCT):

Is Root Canal Treatment (RCT) Painful ?

No, Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is not painful. Before starting the procedure dentist always anaesthetize the tooth to make it convenient for patient and as well as for Doctor.

Is Root Canal Treatment (RCT) Safe ?

Yes, Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is safe. When carious lesion reaches deep inside the tooth then Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is only option to save the tooth.

How many sittings are normally involved in Root Canal Treatment (RCT) ?

If tooth is not infected then Root Canal Treatment (RCT) can even be completed in single sitting. But, if infection is more then it normally takes 3 sittings and even more depends on the extent of infection.

Can Pregnant Women Undergo Root Canal Treatment (RCT) ?

No, It is not at all recommended. Root Canal Treatment (RCT) should be postponed until the birth of baby.

Is Crown Mandatory after Root Canal Treatment (RCT) ?

Yes, Crown is mandatory after Root Canal Treatment (RCT) to make tooth stronger and last longer. Without crown tooth can fracture anytime and after fracture, Extraction is the only option.

Does Pain Exists After Root Canal Treatment (RCT) ?

If through cleaning and infection is removed during procedure then pain vanishes. But, if cleaning and filling of root canal is not done properly by the Dentist then surely patient will complain of pain again and again.

How Many X-Rays Are Involved In Root Canal Treatment (RCT) ?

Normally one X-Ray before starting the procedure and one at the end of the procedure. It depends upon the Dentist, as he is a better judge of the condition involved during the procedure.

Do All Carious Tooth Need Root Canal Treatment (RCT) ?

No, only the tooth in which carious lesion extends deep inside the pulp need Root Canal Treatment (RCT). Otherwise, fillings can be done to save the tooth.

Why Root Canal Treated Tooth Is Known As Dead Tooth ?

In Root canal procedure, Pulp(where blood supply of tooth is present) is removed and canals are cleaned properly. Main indication of Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is when carious lesion reaches pulp and infects that area, then to relieve patient from pain it is removed. Tooth will no doubt remain in its position only the difference comes is it becomes non - sensitive, for this reason it is known as dead tooth.


Post Endodontic Treatment Instructions

  • You may eat and drink as soon as the numbness wears off.

  • Expect your tooth to be sore to touch or pressure.

  • There are no dietary restraints, however do not bite or chew on your treated tooth until the final restoration, usually a crown, has been placed.

  • Continue brushing and cleaning your tooth as usual.

  • A delay in permanently restoring your tooth increases the chance of fracture and/or reinfection of the root canal due to leakage. This can result in the need for retreatment, surgery, or extraction.

  • Usually, after 1 week, these symptoms will begin to subside. Anti-inflammatory medications (Ibuprofen) will help reduce these symptoms.

  • If you should experience discomfort which is not alleviated by the medicines mentioned above, swelling, fever, itching or hives please contact the office.

"Understanding your teeth may help take the mystery out of root canal therapy for you"