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A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it and then filling and sealing it. The common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma. The term "root canal" comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth's root.
Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with root canal, or endodontic, treatment. Learn more about root canal treatment and how it can relieve your tooth pain and save your smile.
A root canal procedure begins with an X-ray to determine the shape of the root canals and whether the infection has spread to the adjoining bone.
Local anesthesia is then administered to numb the affected area.
A rubber sheet is then placed around the tooth to keep the area and prevent it from the saliva.
A hole is then drilled in the affected tooth, following which the decayed pulp and nerve tissues are removed.
The removal is done by using root canal files which are inserted into the hole and then used to scrape and scrub the insides of the tooth.
After the scraping, water is used to clean and flush out the debris.
After the tooth is cleaned, it is sealed after administering medications to prevent infection.
The sealing process involves filling the inner portion of the teeth by a rubber based compound and a sealer paste.
Modern endodontic treatment is very similar to having a routine filling and usually can be completed in one or two appointments, depending on the condition of your tooth and your personal circumstances. You can expect a comfortable experience during and after your appointment.
Saving the natural tooth with root canal treatment has many advantages:
Normal biting force and sensation
Protects other teeth from excessive wear or strain
Once the surgery is done, the tooth may become sensitive due to inflammation of the tissues for the first few days.
This pain and inflammation can be limited by pain medications such as ibuprofen.
It is advised to avoid any chewing by the affected teeth as it can slow down the repair process. You can brush and floss your teeth regularly.
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dentist.
I am 31 years old, daily twice in a day do brush, cleaning also done in last four years, but no useful, mouthwash also use, but now also smell come my mouth.
My daughter aged 11 needs braces. I hear there is a new type of braces which does not show and is more comfortable. Is it available and if yes how much does it cost.
I have pain in cheek in only right side Pls tell me reason I am worried about this. I think I have oral cancer.
I am smoking for the past 30 years. The saliva in the mouth is of bad smell and taste. occasional pain the gum. What to do?
I have problems in my teeth, there is pain sometimes a sharp pain and this disturb a lot. There is nothing physical defect, please provide me solution.
I am 27 years old boy although I brush twice a day but still have bad breath problem and another problem is some white liquid started form on layer of teeth which causes smell, please suggest me
Root canal was done on my right 2 molar 2 years back. Now the same is paining and the gums also pains. Please advise treatment.
I am diabetic 63 years old man. Off late i noticed bleeding gums while brushing. Please suggest cure.
I am 65 years old male. My teeth has become very sensitive and I am unable to consume hard/solid foods as it causes lot of pain and inconvenience while chewing the food. When I consulted Dentists, they told that lot of tear and wear has happened to teeth and to avoid all hard type of foods. Is there any treatment where I can restore the previous healthy state of my teeth and reduce the sensitiveness of my teeth. Request for your advise please.
I have a problem with my tongue it is always getting red every time so that I am not able to eat food properly what should I do to get rid of this problem?
Those who have experienced it would vouch for the fact that toothache is one of the worst pains. There could be times when the attack happens out of nowhere and you are crying for relief.
The tooth has 2 parts - the visible part called the crown and the invisible part called the root which is embedded in the jaw bone and covered by the gums.
Both the crown and the root have 3 layers from inside out. The crown has enamel, dentin, and pulp. The enamel is the mineralized part of the tooth, dentin has fine sensory dentinal tubules, and the pulp receives nerve and blood supply to the tooth through a small orifice at the end of the tooth called the apex. On the root surface, instead of enamel, there is a softer substance called cementum. The dentin and the pulp continue through the tooth, but are thinner in the root portion of the tooth.
The mouth has the largest amount of bacteria in the body. These act on the food deposits on the tooth and produce acid which leads to breakdown of the enamel. The only symptom when enamel breakdown happens is food lodgment, and it continues till treatment ensues. Once the breakdown reaches the dentin, sensitivity sets in, and most people go for treatment then. If not, the next layer is the pulp, when there is severe pain. This acute pulpitis causes pain in spurts and can be unbearable.
On the root surface, if there is periodontal disease and the gum line goes down, then cementum gets worn off (far more easily than enamel) and decay reaches the dentin and pulp (again faster than in the crown).
Whatever the case, the treatment would be the same:
- Dental examination, clinical testing, and x-rays would be diagnostic. Tapping the tooth would reproduce the same pain and that is indicative of acute pulpitis
- Antibiotics and pain killers would be given to control the pain
- Once the infection subsides, root canal therapy is initiated. Using the decayed portion to gain access to the root, thin instruments called reamers and files are used to clean out the pulp space completely. They are then shaped to accommodate an inert substance called gutta percha which ensures infection does not seep into the tooth again.
- With RCT, the tooth is weakened, and therefore a crown needs to be placed. This could either be a ceramic crown or a full metal crown based on economic and esthetic reasons.
The best way to avoid this is regular visits to a dentist so that decay is identified in the early stages and treated with the minimal cost and maximum natural tooth preservation.