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ROOT CANAL TREATMENT: Purpose, Procedure, and Risks

Human teeth are bony organs attached to our jaws which are an extremely important part of our body that helps us to chew our food properly and in turn, helps in the proper digestion of food. Our Tooth consists of three layers, that is enamel, dentin, and pulp. Dental caries or tooth decay is caused due to damage to the hard tissues of the tooth. Dental cavities keep increasing in size covering more and more areas of the tooth with time. If the cavities extend only into hard tissues of the tooth such as enamel and dentin, growth of the cavities can be arrested and the tooth can be saved by using a tooth filling material without needing to do any extensive procedures. But if dental caries extend till the dental pulp tissue causing inflammation and pain we might need to go for root canal treatment (RCT). 

What is pulp tissue?

Pulp tissue is situated in the middle of the tooth and contains blood vessels, connective tissue cells, and is richly innervated. The dental pulp is highly sensitive to any impact caused to the tooth leading to inflammation of the pulp. 

What is root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment is a procedure done by any dentist in an attempt to save our natural tooth by removing the infected pulp and cleaning the root canals which prevents further destruction of tooth structure and reinfection in the tooth.

How do I know if I need root canal treatment?

If you come across any signs of dental caries you should visit your nearest dentist and get your teeth filled with restorative cement. If the caries are extensive and if there is pain involved, you might need to opt for root canal treatment. Some of the indications for root canal treatment include:

  1. Pain in and around the infected tooth 
  2. Swelling and infection near the symptomatic tooth
  3. Trauma to the tooth 
  4. Severe grinded teeth causing prolonged sensitivity.
  5. Deep decayed tooth.

PURPOSE

The foremost aim of root canal treatment is to SAVE THE TOOTH in the jaw as the absence of a single tooth also leads to further dental issues and also may cause discomfort while eating. Doing root canal treatment ELIMINATES BACTERIA from the canal and prevents reinfection. pulpal chamber is CLEANED DISINFECTED before finally FILLING AND SEALING the canals which block entry of bacteria inside the tooth in future.

Why should I go for RCT?

Avoiding root canal treatment for a longer period of time will lead to a poor prognosis of the tooth .therefore you might have to get your tooth extracted. Which will create space.

  1. A missing tooth will lead to the shifting of adjacent teeth into available space.
  2. There is a Compromised function of eating and chewing food.
  3. Saving a tooth with root canal treatment will avoid the further inconvenience of more dental visits and getting a dental bridge or dental implant, which also increases treatment costs.
  4. The natural tooth is preserved. 

Relieves infection in a tooth and pain.  

PROCEDURE

How is root canal treatment done?

Root canal treatment is a routine procedure that can be done by any dentist or an Endodontist at the dental clinic. Root canal procedure (RCT) consists of the following steps  

  1. Removing infected tooth structure and inflamed pulp tissue.
  2. Cleaning pulp chamber and disinfecting the canals 
  3. Filling with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha.

What is a cap?

Once the pulp tissue is removed tooth loses its strength and can break easily if we don’t place a crown over the root canal-treated tooth. It increases the longevity of the tooth. Also, functions as good as the natural tooth. 

RISKS

Is root canal treatment harmful?

Root canal procedures are mostly low-risk procedures if carried out properly and may only lead to extraction of the tooth if the tooth is compromised even after the treatment. Complications after RCT are rare and can be managed once they are detected by your dentist. Some of the complications are : 

1. Incomplete removal of infected tissue.

2. Improper filling of gutta-percha and improper seal 

3. Broken instrument 

4. Missed canals

5. Fracture tooth due to compromised tooth structure.  

What to do if my rct gets complicated?

  •  Talk to your dentist 
  • Get your doubts cleared 
  • Take necessary steps to treat the complications as advised by your dentist.