When the root area of a tooth becomes decayed due to extensive bacteria formation, root canal treatment (RCT) is performed. The dental specialist will remove all contaminated pulp from the area and replace it with the appropriate material. The material would be biodegradable and suitable for dental use. With RCT, it is possible to keep the tooth.

Signs and symptoms indicate that an RCT may be needed?

  • Teeth that is broken or cracked
  • Gum disease-affected teeth
  • Dental fillings that have failed
  • Teeth that have been traumatized
  • Deeply decayed teeth
  • Tooth ache

Root Canal Procedures:

1. X-ray

One of the first things the dentist does is take an x-ray of the infected tooth to ascertain the source of your damage and the level of decay. In most cases, after an x-ray is taken, a local anesthetic is injected to ensure that the operation is painless. Local anesthesia can be skipped in some cases if the patient is asymptomatic or the tooth is absolutely dead and painless.

2. Removal of decay and cavity preparation

All visible decay is removed, and a cavity is prepared in the tooth to allow easy access to the inner pulp.

3. Removing infected pulp and any pus from under the tooth is drained.

The contaminated and inflamed pulp is fully removed once straight-line access is obtained. In certain situations, the pulp has disintegrated to the point that only specks of it remain, which can be washed out of the canals with a saline solution. Accessing and extracting the pulp allows pus drainage and provides immediate relief to the patient in situations where there is pus accumulation under the root.

4. Cleaning, disinfecting and preparing the canals

The canals are washed and formed to suit the filling content after the pulp has been removed and the canals have been disinfected with saline solution.

5. Filling and sealing

In ideal circumstances, the canals can be sealed in one sitting with an inert rubber-based material. A single-sitting root canal is a form of RCT procedure. In most cases, however, a 3-5-day gap is needed before the canals can be permanently sealed. In the meantime, the dentist will apply a calcium-based medicine to the inflamed tissues to help them to heal. Rubber-based cones are inserted into the canals and sealed until they are ready to be sealed. These cones are sterile in nature and do not dissolve in saliva or blood, preventing the tooth from being infected again.

6. Post-root canal filling and crown

After the canals have been repaired, the decayed crown part of your tooth should be restored with tooth filling content. The tooth crown is then formed in preparation for the insertion of a cap that will strengthen the tooth.

Things to follow after RCT?

For a few days after the root canal procedure, pain and discomfort are to be expected. The area around the tooth can become sore and tender as our bodies recover, which is why mild to moderate pain is common for a few days after RCT.

  • For a few days, stay away from hard foods.
  • Soft foods such as ice cream, soups, and fruit juices should be consumed.
  • Reduce the amount of sugary food in your everyday diet
  • Brush your teeth twice a day.

Note: If the RCT pain is severe, the pain remains, or there is swelling, you should see your dentist back immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

To understand RCT, one must first comprehend the anatomy of a tooth. The hard layer called dentin and the soft tissue pulp are enclosed by the outer enamel layer. The soft tissue that includes blood vessels and nerves is known as the pulp. The pulp chamber and root canals of a tooth are where the pulp is held. The nerve of a tooth, on the other hand, is not critical to the health and operation of the tooth because its only function is sensory, i.e. to provide the sense of heat or cold. The existence or absence of a nerve has no bearing on the tooth’s day-to-day functionality. The tooth, however, is less viable after treatment and therefore more likely to fracture.

Anesthesia: The dentist begins by numbing the affected tooth with local anesthesia

Isolation: The dentist can then use a rubber dam or cotton rolls to keep this tooth clean and dry during the operation.

Access Opening: A dental hand piece is used to gain access to the inside of the tooth ( pulp chamber). With the aid of 8 or 10 endodontic K – files, the root canals will be located and the working length will be calculated.

Biochemical Preparation and Irrigation: To clear the pulp debris and form the canals, a series of files are used. Irrigation will also be carried out to remove any residual pulp. To destroy any remaining bacteria and reduce the risk of infection, an antimicrobial solution is also used.

Obturation: The canals are then filled and sealed with gutta percha, a rubber-like biocompatible material. As you wait for the permanent crown, filler may be used to cover the gap in the tooth.

Capping: After a week, the dentist will complete the procedure by placing a permanent crown or a similar form of restoration.

Delaying prescribed RCT would only make the tooth infection worse. Medications can only help you for a short time. If bacteria infect the tooth’s delicate, dead pulp, a periapical abscess can develop. Pressure, swelling (at the base of the tooth, gums, and/or cheek), and suppuration are all signs of a periapical abscess. If the infection progresses to the point that the furcation is involved, the only option is to remove the tooth.

Pressure can be relieved with over-the-counter prescription analgesics, cloves’ eugenol ingredient, and lukewarm salt water. A visit to the dentist, on the other hand, will aid in identifying and treating the source of pain.

RCT pain is typical and mild. However, it is only temporary, and RCT is intended to alleviate the discomfort of a decayed or traumatized tooth.

RCT failure or a dislodged crown restoration, re-infection may cause pain and swelling.

With RCT, it is often preferable to save the natural tooth. Extraction and replacement of a tooth necessitates further treatment procedures, which can have an effect on the surrounding teeth and supporting gums.

After completing the RCT, it is essential to practice good oral hygiene. An X-ray might be required after treatment to ensure that the obturation procedure was completed correctly and that all signs of infection were removed. For the first few days after treatment, the tooth could feel responsive, particularly if there was pain or infection prior to the procedure. There may be some temporary pain, which can be alleviated by the use of prescription medications. After treatment, the treated tooth can feel different from the other teeth for a while. However, if you experience extreme pain or discomfort, you should see a dentist. Also, what to eat after an RCT. During root canal care, eat soft foods. Avoid foods that are too hard or too hot for your teeth. It’s recommended that you don’t eat for a few hours before the numbness in your mouth goes down, so you don’t bite your cheek or tongue. A diseased tooth treated with RCT will last a lifetime with proper care and attention.

  • Tenderness/Pressure Sensitivity
  • Swelling, Abscess, Gum Boil, and Sinus Tract
  • Sensitivity to heat (to hot or cold stimulus)

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