What is a Root Canal?
Root canal is a layman’s term for root canal treatment or endodontic treatment. Root canal treatment is required when the pulp, which contains blood vessels and nerves, inside the tooth gets infected or inflamed.This damage can occur due to decay, trauma or gum diseases. The procedure involves removing all the infected pulp, cleaning and shaping the system and filing it with an inert material. Major function of the pulp is during development of teeth. So as an adult you don’t require pulp. Root canal treatment helps in stopping the infection from spreading, saving your natural tooth and freeing you from pain.
How do I know I need a Root canal treatment?
Do you have
- Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold
- Discomfort on chewing or biting
- Spontaneous pain
- Increased pain on lying down
If you answered yes to any of the above, you might need a root canal treatment. Please call and get an appointment booked for evaluation.
Is there an alternative to RCT?
Removal of the tooth (extraction) is the only alternative to RCT. But it is always better if the tooth can be saved because removing a tooth can cause several problems like teeth shifting in position, bone loss, difficulty in eating and aesthetic issues. Replacing a lost tooth with bridges or implant is a much more time and investment intensive procedure than root canal therapy. Also no matter how effective modern tooth replacements like dental implants are – and they are very effective – nothing can be as good as your natural tooth.
How long do root canal treated teeth last?
Teeth treated with modern endodontic techniques and appropriate restoration have a very high success rate almost 90-95%. Many root canal treated teeth if taken proper care of can last a lifetime.
Can every tooth be saved by RCT?
Unfortunately, some teeth which are grossly decayed and have very little tooth structure remaining or have sever bone loss can not be saved.
Is root canal treatment painful?
No. Root canal treatment actually removes pain. With modern anaesthesia technique, root canal treatments have become very comfortable.
What will happen at my appointment?
X-rays are taken. The tooth is numbed. A protective sheet called rubber dam is applied over the tooth to isolate it. An opening is made in the tooth through which the root canal system is cleaned and shaped. It is then filled with an inert material and a filling is then placed to close the opening.
How long does a root canal treatment take?
It usually take 1 to 2 hrs to complete a treatment. One-two sittings are required. At times in complex cases additional sittings and time may be required.
How to prevent the need for root canal treatment in the future?
Brush and floss twice a day. Prevent your teeth from decay by avoiding sticky food and soda. Have regular dental check ups every 6 months. Prevent your teeth from injury by wearing mouthguard if you are into contact sports.
If the tooth is not hurting, why do I need a root canal treatment?
Patients sometimes experience tooth pain initially but it goes away on taking pain killers and antibiotics. But the tooth still remains infected. This infection keeps on causing bone loss. RCT helps to disinfect the tooth and stop the spread of infection. Many a times the chronic infection and need for root canal treatment is diagnosed through routine clinical examination and x-rays.