Root Canal Treatment

What is Root Canal (RCT)?

Whether the people know what is a root canal or not, what they know is that it is synonymous with pain. The idea that a root canal is the most painful of dental surgeries is a myth. The procedure can save a dying tooth and prevent the need for an artificial tooth.

A root canal is a hollow cavity within the tooth that houses the vital part of the tooth-the pulp. The pulp provides nutrition to the tooth via the blood and is also responsible for tooth sensitivity because of the presence of the nerves.

If a canal ever gets infected, which generally occurs when tooth cavities destroys the enamel and dentin, the pulp gets exposed to the outer environment. At this stage the patient feels an intense pain that might even radiate to head and ear, sensitivity to hot and cold and discomfort. If left untreated, an infection occurs causing the death of the pulp and also infection of the surrounding bone. The stage is usually associated with the inability of the tooth to withstand chewing forces. Unless still treated, this pain will likely remain and could result in the tooth eventually falling out.

In order to prevent tooth loss, a root canal surgery must be performed. The surgery is designed to clear out diseased material from inside the canal. To perform a root canal surgery, a hole is drilled into the tooth to allow access to the inner pulp. The diseased pulp is completely removed with special instruments, and the cavity is usually filled and capped with specific inert material.

The success rate of root canal surgery is high. Only 5% of the cases typically require remedial treatment. Complications usually involve re-infection of the pulp from diseased tissue that was inadvertently left behind. A re-infection of the tooth could mean either another root canal surgery or the loss of the tooth.

After the surgery, the tooth will remain sensitive to pressure for 2-3 days so chewing hard foods on it is not recommended for that period. However, a successful root canal surgery can restore a patient’s ability to chew without continuous pain or the possibility of losing that tooth.

If you have excessive tooth pain, be sure to consult your dentist today about a root canal surgery.

Restoration of an RCT treated tooth- Post and Core.

After RCT it is mandatory to put a crown over the treated tooth. However, RCT treated teeth present specific restorative problems because they frequently have insufficient healthy tooth structure remaining to retain the final restoration. Due to loss of tooth structure and RCT treatment, the tooth becomes brittle and prone to fracture. Various techniques are now available to address these specific problems. These techniques use special pins called as the dowels to provide necessary retention for the cores and to prevent separation of the crown from the root.

The post and cores are available as prefabricated posts or may be individually cast both for anterior and posterior teeth. The procedure involved is simple though technique sensitive. A properly selected case and dowel technique plays an important role in the reinforcement of the tooth.

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