Root Canal Treatment

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Endodontic therapy is a sequence of treatment for the pulp of a tooth which results in the elimination of infection and protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion. This set of procedures is commonly referred to as a root canal.

Benefits of Root Canal treatment are:
  • It prevents the loss of the tooth, and makes it so the tooth does not need to be pulled
  • It eliminates the pain caused by the infection, tooth damage, or sensitivity
  • It prevents the spread of infection to surrounding teeth or gums

Root Canal Treatment or Endodontics is a procedure that involves the filling of the core of the tooth (pulp) with an inert material.

What is the benefit of Root Canal Treatment?

  • The chief benefit of root canal treatment is that a tooth that otherwise might require extraction, can actually be saved to contribute to a healthy and functional dentition for many years.

What are the Indications for Root Canal Treatment?

  • Some indications for Root Canal Treatment are:

The chief benefit of root canal treatment is that a tooth that otherwise might require extraction, can actually be saved to contribute to a healthy and functional dentition for many years.

  • Severe sensitivity to hot and cold foods and sweets
  • Spontaneous pain or throbbing while biting
  • Pain stays for a long time after consuming cold things
  • Pain that worsens when you lie down
  • Tooth pain refers to pain in the head and ears as well
  • Tooth sensitivity on consuming sweets
  • Swelling around the tooth
  • Severe decay or an injury that creates an abscess (infection) in the root region
  • Fractured teeth

If you have any of the above listed symptoms, it would be advisable to visit your dentist, since he can tell you whether you have a root canal disease or not, as some of these symptoms can be due to other problems as well.

Age factor for RCT

  • A tooth that is fully developed can be treated by routine root canal treatment at any age.

In young children the roots of the teeth are still developing. In such children it may be required to first undertake treatment to develop the root or close its wide-open apex and then continue with the root canal treatment subsequently.
Tooth is made of three layers – the outer layer is strong and hard and is made up of enamel, the intermediate layer is of tough dentin and the inner layer is of soft pulp that contains the nerve ending, blood vessels and others cells which retain the vitality of the tooth.

If dental decay is permitted to progress, it results in a deep cavity that may reach the pulp thereby exposing it to the outer environment. Severe erosion or trauma to the tooth can also cause pulp exposure. When the pulp is exposed to the exterior, it develops inflammation and infection leading to pain. There are two ways to get relief from the pain, either a root canal treatment, or tooth extraction. An endodontically treated tooth can function normally in the mouth. If left untreated the tooth develops pain, swelling, etc, and the infection can spread deeper into the underlying bone. We recommend removing teeth as a very last option because natural teeth are the ones best suited for your mouth.

Rubber dam
Rubber dam is a device that is used to isolate a single tooth or a group of teeth from the rest of the oral cavity in order to keep the tooth (being treated) away from saliva and also to increase accessibility. It also prevents accidental swallowing of delicate instruments, solutions, etc. It is used usually in filling procedures and is a must in root canal treatment.

Root Canal Treatment consists of:

The removal of the infected or irritated nerve tissue that lies within the root of the tooth. It is this infected pulp tissue that causes an eventual abscess.
The first step in a root canal is to obtain access to the nerve. This is accomplished by establishing a small access opening in the top of the tooth. It will be done under a local anesthetic.

The length of the root canal is determined and the infected pulp is removed.
At the same visit, the canal where the nerve is located will be reshaped and prepared to accept a special root canal filling material. The number of visits necessary to complete your root canal will depend upon several factors including the number of nerves in the tooth, the infected state of the nerve, and the complexity of the procedure.
The final step in your root canal will be the sealing of the root canal with a sterile, plastic material called gutta percha. This is done in order to prevent possible future infection.
If treated early, root canal therapy need not be uncomfortable. With the use of local anesthetics, the entire procedure can be totally painless.

The success rates for Root Canal Therapy have been reported to be as high as 95%.

Sometimes when there has been long standing infection or abscess, there may be some soreness associated with the root canal visit. If this should turn out to be true, you will be given specific instructions to follow to minimize the discomfort. When an infection is present, it may be necessary to take an antibiotic. If pain should be present, analgesics may need to be prescribed.

The tooth will then possibly need a post and core and a crown in order to re-establish normal form and function. This decision will be based upon several additional factors.