WHAT EXACTLY IS A ROOT CANAL?

If your tooth’s nerve chamber becomes infected by decay, root canal treatment is often the only way to save your tooth. Inside your tooth’s hard outer shell is a nourishing pulp of blood vessels, lymph vessels and nerves. The root canal forms a pathway for vessels and nerves to extend to the bone.Deep tooth decay or injury can cause serious damage and infection to the pulp’s nerves and vessels. Root canal, also known as endodontic treatment cleans out the infected pulp chamber and canals.

Some indications for the need of root canal treatment may be:

  • Spontaneous pain or throbbing.

  • Pain while biting or chewing.

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold.

  • Severe decay or injury that causes an abscess (infection) in the bone surrounding the tooth.

  • Traumatic injury exposing the nerve.


STEPS INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS OF A ROOT CANAL

Step 1: After the tooth is anesthetized, an opening is made through the tooth into the pulp chamber (nerves).

Step 2: The lengths of the roots’ canals are determined.

Step 3: Unhealthy pulp is removed. Canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped using progressively larger endodontic files.

Step 4: Canals are filled and sealed.

Step 5: This step may be done at the completion of your root canal or during a following visit. A permanent filling is put back into the tooth, rebuilding it in preparation for a crown (cap).

Step 6: Crown to be placed on the tooth.


POST ROOT CANAL INSTRUCTIONS

  • Do not eat till the anesthesia wears off.

  • Consumption of liquids is permitted.

  • Take a pain-killer.

  • Do not eat from that tooth for the next 48 hrs.

  • The tooth will be sensitive to chewing for 5/6 days.


ROOT CANAL FAQS

1. Is root canal painful?

As, root canals are done under local anesthesia, it is a painless procedure. Moreover; with the rotary machines available today; the procedure is so much faster than doing the same with hand filing.

2. How many sittings are required for a root canal?

The procedure is much faster and in most cases be completed in one visit. Only in cases of swelling or severe pain /infection; the number of sittings may increase.

3. Why is a crown required after Root canal treatment?

After a root canal, the tooth tends to become weak and brittle and prone to fracture. That’s why after a root canal, a crown is very important to preventing leakage instead of breakager. Placing a crown helps the tooth to be able to withstand chewing forces and to function as a normal tooth. Moreover, it completes the sealing of the tooth, preventing leakage.

4. Can a badly broken tooth also be treated with root canal treatment?

Unless the tooth is fractured or as long as there is sufficient tooth structure (to be determined by the dentist), the tooth can be treated by a root canal.

5. When is root canal treatment suggested instead of a simple filling?

When any decay/trauma/wear of the tooth invades the innermost section consisting of nerves and blood vessels (liquid media), nothing solid (filling) can be placed over it and as the infection spreads into the roots; the blood and nerve tissues need to be taken out along with the infection.

6. What is the significance of saving the tooth by Root canal and capping?

Saving the tooth helps keep the surrounding bone intact and opposing teeth in ideal position thus preserving the adjacent teeth from collateral damage.

7. What is the success rate of RCT?

Root canal has a success rate of more than 95% thanks to the advanced materials available to perform the procedures today such as Apex locators and digital xrays to ensure accuracy; rotary instruments and fiber posts with core build up materials to improve the strength of tooth and CAD-CAM precision crowns bonded chemically to the tooth.

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