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.
1. A Deep Infection
Root canal treatment is needed when an injury or a large cavity damages the tooth’s root. The root becomes infected or inflamed.
2. A Route to the Root
The dentist numbs the tooth. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth to the pulp chamber.
3. Removing the Infected/Inflammed Tissue
Special files are used to clean the infection and unhealthy pulp out of the canals. Then they shape the canals for the filling material. Irrigation is used to help clean the canals and remove debris.
4. Filling the Canals
The canals are filled with a permanent material. Typically this is done with a material known as gutta-percha. This helps to keep the canals free of infection or contamination.
5. Rebuilding the Tooth
A temporary filling material is placed on top of the gutta-percha to seal the opening. The filling remains until the tooth receives a permanent filling or a crown. A crown, sometimes called a cap, looks like a natural tooth. It is placed over the top of the tooth.
6. Extra Support
In some cases, a post is placed into the root next to the gutta-percha. This gives the crown more support.
7. The Crowning Touch
The crown is cemented into place.
What to Expect During a ROOT CANAL
If you think you need a root canal, consult your dentist. There are a number of steps that occur over a few office visits.
- X-ray – if a dentist suspects you may need a root canal, he will first take X-rays or examine existing X-rays to show where the decay is located.
- Anesthesia – local anesthesia is administered to the affected tooth. Contrary to popular belief, a root canal is no more painful than a filling.
- Pulpectomy – an opening is made and the diseased tooth pulp is removed.
- Filling – the roots that have been opened (to get rid of the disease pulp) are filled with gutta-percha material and sealed off with cement.
Is root canal painful?
As, root canals are done under local anesthesia, it is a painless procedure. Moreover; with the rotary machines available today;the procedure is much faster than doing the same thing with hand filing.
How many sittings are required for a root canal?
That depends on the degree of infection. However; now a days root-canal along with the crown can be completed within a maximum of 2 to 3 sittings in more than 90% of the cases and often within a week’s time. Only in cases of swelling or severe pain /infection;the number of sittings may increase.
Why is a crown required after Root canal treatment?
After Root Canal Treatment the tooth tends to become weak and brittle and prone to fracture. That’s why after Root Canal Treatment a crown is very important to protect the tooth and hold it together. Placing a crown helps the tooth to be able to withstand chewing forces and function like a normal tooth.Moreover, it completes the sealing of the tooth, preventing breakage of root canal filling and reinfection.
Can a badly broken tooth also be treated with root canal treatment?
Unless the tooth is split in two or as long as atleast one mm of tooth is visible all around, the tooth can be treated by Root Canal Treatment. In such cases the tooth is reinforced with additional structure called Post and core,that acts as foundation of the tooth to withstand chewing forces.
The post and core may be of metal or white colored fiber posts with composite core build up .
When is root canal treatment suggested instead of a simple filling?
When any decay/trauma/wear of the tooth invades the innermost section consisting of nerves and blood vessels (liquid media), nothing solid (filling) can be placed over it and as the infection spreads into the roots; the blood and nerve tissues need to be taken out along with the infection. This process is termed as Root canal.
What is the significance of saving the tooth by Root canal and capping?
Saving the tooth helps keep the surrounding bone intact and opposing teeth in ideal position thus preserving the adjacent teeth from collateral damage.
What is the success rate of Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal has a success rate of more than 95% thanks to the advanced materials available to perform the procedures today such as Apex locators and digital xrays to ensure accuracy; rotary instruments and fiber posts with core build up materials to improve the strength of tooth and CAD-CAM precision crowns bonded chemically to the tooth.