Root Canal Treatment

Root canal is a term used for describing the soft innermost layer of the toth that contains nerve and blood supply of tooth

our tooth consist of 3 layers, when the outer 2 layers namely, enamel and dentin are decayed, the dentist restores the tooth with a filing. when the decay reaches the third layer of the tooth namely pulp, which consists of nerve and blood supply of tooth, it starts paining. only filling does not suffice the treatment at this stage and the tooth requires to undergo a root canal treatment. <diagram of layers of tooth>.

a. Symtoms that indicate root canal treatment is required:

1. pain: patient feels pain in the decayed tooth indicating the need for the treatment. the pain may be spontaneous or increased by chewing. the pain associated with the tooth requiring tooth canal treatment is usually seen to increase at night or on lying down.

2. senstivity to hot and cold: senstitivity to cold hot eatables indicates that someting is wrong with the tooth whereas, in a tooth requirng rooth canal treatment, the sentivity to hot is more signifant. Also, the damange is indicated by prolonged pain for upto minutes or hours even after the removal of hot or cold stimulus.

3. swelling around the tooth or on the face: in cae the infection has resulted in abscess or pus formation, the patient develops swelling on the face or just around the tooth. Absess may present as a small bump in the gum area of the tooth that may later lead to yellow discarge.

4. trauma: in case of an injury leading to breakage of the tooth, tooth might need to be endodonticlly treated and crowed.

5. fracture:some patients develop extremely high chewing forced, that may lead to fracture of the tooth. One must never try to use his or her teeth for breaking things or opening soda bottles. This may lead to fracture of teeth, thus requiring endodontic therapy.

b.  procedure:

1. diagnosis: done using x-rays / rvg. palpation and percussion of the tooth is done to localize the pain by the dentist.

2. anesthesia: anesthesia is injected to make the treatment painless. though in many cases anesthesia is just not required as the tooth is long dead. anesthesia might be given as a nerve block to anesthetize a very large areas or as a local drug delivery only around the concered tooth or affected tooth.

3. opening the root canal of the tooth: for dental instruments to efficiently clean all pulp tissue, a good opening is created in the tooth crown, so as to allow  straght acess to the roots.

4. shaping and cleaning the canals: this is done in order to remove all infected tissue. the canals are successively clean with the larger instruments.  it is irrigated with medicaments to disinfect them completely. there are 2 ways in which this step may be carried out.

I. manually: hand files are used by the dentist toclean and shape the root canals. this takes longer time.

II. Rotary: An advanced machine known as an endomotor is used to clean and shape canals more efficiently and in a very less time.

5.  Filling THE ROOT CANAL: this step is called as the obturation. Herein, the canals are filled with an inert, bio-compatible rubber bawed material using  asealer to fill and seal the root canal cavity.

6. filling the pulp chamber: this is done with a dental cement which might be glass inomer cement or a rasin based composite cement.

7. crowning the root canala treated tooth: this is a very improtant step as the toothbecome brittle after root canal treatment. the brittle tooth might fracture on taking normal chewing forces. So, to restore functionalty and long-life of the root canal treated tooth, it is important to crown the tooth properly.

 

Root Canal Treatment is the process of saving the teeth from decay and infection. When the pulp and tissue inside the teeth is infected, then the root canal treatment stops the teeth from further decay. It also prevents the tooth infection from spreading further into gums. It saves your natural tooth and tooth does not need to be extracted.

A tooth filling is done to maintain the shape of the tooth.

After root canal treatment, a tooth crown or bridge is placed on the treated tooth to give strength to the tooth. Please read more about tooth crown here and bridges here.

Root Canal Treatment

Benefits

Procedure

  1. Cleaning: In cleaning, the infected tissue is removed after giving local anesthsia
  2. Filling: Now, the cleaned tooth is filled to fill the gap from extracted tissue
  3. Crown: A tooth-colored crown is placed to restore the strengh and function of the tooth

Techniques

There are two ways to do Root Canal Treatment:

  • Computerized / Automated (Single Visit)
  • Manual (Multiple Visits)

1. Computerized / Automated Root Canal Treatment

Computerised RCT is the most advanced type of RCT procedure. In this, the drilling of tooth and extraction of infected pulp is done using two machines, Endo Motor and Apex Locator. Its benefit is that the whole process is done in a single visit  and it is more accurate than manual RCT. However, one more visit is required on next day after RCT to place the crown on the tooth.

Endo Motor
Apex Locator

2. Manual Root Canal Treatment

Manual root canal treatment is the old method of RCT and is done in multiple visits. The whole process is done using hand so it has a few disadvantages. It takes longer time and is less accurate than computerized method.

Cost

The cost of a computerized RCT is $50. However, you also need a tooth crown after RCT which costs $100. So, total the cost of whole procedure of RCT + Crown is $50 + $100 = $150.

Precautions

  • Do not eat for 24 hours from the same side of tooth after crown placement
  • Do not drink water for 1 hour after crown placement
  • Avoid eating hard and sticky food

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:  Is it a painful procedure?
Answer:     No, it is a completely painless treatment.

Question:  How long a RCT treated tooth last?
Answer:    RCT increases the life of a tooth by 15-20 years.

Question:  What if I do not get RCT done in infected tooth?
Answer:     If the tooth is not treated then the infection can spread into gums and may spread to other tooth.

Question:  Is placement of crown compulsory in RCT tooth?
Answer:    Yes, a crown is compulsory after RCT procedure.

Question:  Does RCT treated tooth look like a natural tooth?
Answer:    Yes, the RCT treated tooth look like a natural tooth.

Question:  How many visists are required for the complete RCT procdeure?
Answer:    The complete RCT and crown placement required a single visit of 2 days.

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