Root canal

Root canal

Root Canal Treatment or RCT is known as Endodontic treatment. It is a dental procedure to treat illness occurring at the soft central core of the tooth, called ‘Dental pulp’.

Procedure detail

In RCT, the infected tooth pulp is removed and the infected inside areas are sealed and filled. It prevents the further infection of pulp which saves the tooth

Why is it needed?

Usually, RCT is done to treat tooth infection known as ‘pulpits’, and prevent further tooth decay. Conditions for RCT are:

  • Severe toothache while biting or chewing
  • The sensitivity of tooth to cold and heat
  • Discoloration and swelling near the tooth
  • Broken tooth
  • X-ray shows infected tooth
Root Canal

Facts and Figures

  • It is not true that RCT is the most painful dental treatment
  • 14 million and more RCTs are done in the US every year, with 95% rate of success

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Successful RCT provides relief from excruciating toothache and eliminating the need to extract a tooth in future
  • Almost 95% success rate
  • Restores normal tooth function and saves it

Disadvantages

  • Sometimes, many dental visits are needed
  • In case of recurrence of inflammation and infection, then the procedure might have to be repeated

Risks and Complications

  • Injury or inflammation to adjacent teeth structure
  • Reaction to medicines
  • Continued pain and numbness
  • Reaction to local anesthesia
Risks and Complications

Pre-operative and Post-operative Care

Pre-operative preparation

  • Visit the dentist to know about pre and post-procedure
  • Inform regarding allergies and smoking/alcohol habits. Quit smoking
  • Tooth x-rays
  • Know about medicines allowed or not allowed before the procedure
  • Ask help from friends or family or other caregiver post-procedure

Post-operative care

  • The patient might feel numbness around mouth, cheeks, and lips immediately after the procedure, which would subside in 3-4 hours. Till then, the patient should avoid chewing
  • Temporary crown or filling is placed in RCT tooth

Do’s, Don’ts and Precautions

  • If a small portion of temporary filling breaks or wears away, do not worry
  • Rinse with salt water 3 times every day to control the swelling and pain
  • Take the medicines prescribed punctually
  • Avoid chewy and hard foods
  • Floss and brush regularly