Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is the more common, and less frightening, a term for an Endodontic Treatment performed by a Root Canal specialist. It is a painless procedure, usually done as an alternative to tooth extraction in an attempt to save a badly infected or damaged tooth. The treatment derives its name from the procedure of cleaning the “canals” inside the rotting part of the tooth.
The treatment becomes imperative when the dental pulp (the central soft part of the tooth which contains blood vessels, nerves, connective tissues, etc) gets infected or festered. This kind of tooth damage is usually the result of cavities formed by the accumulation of plaque. Sometimes if a tooth chips or cracks from an injury, the trauma can also lead to infection.
Other factors that might cause pulp inflammation or damage your pulp irreversibly, making it necessary for you to get a Root Canal Treatment done, include gum diseases and prolonged dental treatments conducted on a particular tooth. The treatment essentially involves removing the pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the area, filling and sealing it up.
Root Canal Treatments help save your tooth by bringing the infection under control before either the pulp dies or the infection spreads. As a result, it not only eliminates infection but also protects the disinfected tooth from microbial invasions in the future. Since a mature tooth derives nourishment from the gums and bone around it, the removal of the pulp does not affect the tooth in any way, and the treatment is almost always successful.
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Root Canal Treatment Procedure
The decision to conduct a Root Canal Treatment is undertaken based not merely on the symptom of pain and its degree, but also the physical, a biological and radio-graphical condition of the tooth. The treatment is painless and has a long term and predictable prognosis.
At the start of the procedure, the diseased tooth is anaesthetized using local anaesthetic agents. This is followed by a thorough cleansing of the decay and debris to expose the pulp chamber. An instrument known as the apex-locator is used to measure the length of the root. The old-fashioned way included multiple X-rays, but the modern method makes the process much faster and effective.
After measuring the length of the dental root that must be cleaned, the next step is the actual cleaning process, which is biomechanical in nature. There are a variety of methods available in the market, but the Rotary Endodontic System is the most technologically advanced and effective amongst root canal cleaning materials, at the moment.
After the tooth is completely cleaned, the root canal space is filled with a material similar to rubber-resin (called Gutta-Percha) and is followed by a liquid sealer that completely seals of the disinfected tooth and protects it from any future infections. The procedure concludes with a final X-ray to make sure the canals are filled properly till the tip of the roots.
In Case of Severe Infection
Sometimes, in more severe cases, there is an accumulation of pus below the infected tooth. In such cases, after the biomechanical cleaning, a medicine is left inside the root canal space, and the tooth is covered with a temporary filling. This ensures that the pus is completely drained (usually within a week) and the root canal space is completely disinfected and sterilized. Once this is done, the Gutta-percha filling is done and the tooth is sealed off permanently.
” Patient reported with periodontally compromised mobile teeth with poor chewing efficiency. 8 implants in upper and 6 in lower were placed and ceramic bridges were made so that patient could function well with it. “
Root Canal Treatment Results & Recovery
Post Treatment Care
- With the completion of the Root Canal Treatment, the primary functional restorative procedures start.
- The cleaning and disinfection of the tooth can save it from completely decaying, however, it does not regain the strength necessary for it to function efficiently over a longer period of time, let alone permanently.
- The tooth’s capacity to handle sustained biting and chewing is compromised to some extent.
- The Root Canal Treatment is thus followed by a core filling to reinforce the structure by replacing the part of the tooth lost due to decay. The addition of a cap or crown provides strength to the restored tooth.
At Dr Dixit’s Dental Specialty Clinic & Implant Centre, we ensure that the procedure is conducted properly, using high-quality materials, to make sure that all traces of the infection are erased and the effects of the Root Canal Treatment lasts longer.
When do you need Root Canal Treatment?
A root canal treatment is usually performed when the dental pulp is infected and your tooth is decaying, but there are various other factors and symptoms that can clue you into your need for this procedure. A Root Canal Treatment should be done in such a situation to provide a permanent solution and save your tooth.
What are the common symptoms that indicate the onset of an infection?
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food and recurring toothaches, accompanied by swelling around the tooth, are symptoms of an inflamed dental pulp.
- Chipped, cracked, discoloured, or broken teeth resulting from accidents or trauma can invite microbial infections which can be treated through the treatment.
Is Root Canal Treatment risky?
The main objective of a Root Canal treatment is to save your infected or damaged tooth without extraction, and the effects usually last for a very long time. Root Canal Treatment will help disinfect, fill and seal your tooth up to keep any infections at bay.
Root Canal Therapy can also be used to align a malposed tooth, with the help of a crown or cap.
Can I avoid Root Canal Treatment with Medication?
Sometimes we are reassured of our tooth being restored to health as soon as the ache stops, or the pulp dies and you think that has erased the infection. This is in fact only a temporary grace since it is likely that the infection will relapse and spread to the adjoining teeth.