A root canal is the hollow section of a tooth that contains the blood vessels, nerve tissue, and other cells. A tooth consists of a crown and roots. The crown is mainly above the gum, and the roots are below it. The roots attach the tooth to the jawbone. Inside the root and crown is the pulp. The pulp strengthens the tooth and provides moisture to the surrounding material. The nerves in the pulp sense cold and hot temperatures as pain.

The name of the dental procedure commonly known as an “RCT dental procedure”, means inside the tooth. However, the term “root canal” has come to be usually used to talk about the procedure.

What are the steps?

Root canal therapy is done in the three following steps:

Cleaning up the root canal

First, the dentist cleans up everything that is inside the root canal. With the patient under anaesthesia, the dentist makes a small access hole on the surface of the tooth and removes the dead pulp.

Filling the root canal

Next, the dentist cleans, shapes, and decontaminates the hollow area, with the help of tiny files and irrigation solutions. After that, the tooth-filling with a rubber-like material, by using an adhesive cement to seal the canals completely.

After this root canal therapy, the tooth is dead. The patient will get rid of that pain in that particular tooth because the nerve tissue has been removed, and the infection has been put to an end.

Adding a filling or crown

The tooth will be now more fragile than before. A tooth with no pulp must receive its nourishment from the ligament which attaches the tooth to the bone. This supply is adequate, but in time, the tooth will become more fragile, so a crown or the filling provides protection.

Till the crown or filling is finished, the patient must not chew or bite on the tooth. Once the crown or filling is done, the person can use the tooth as before.

Treatment usually takes only one appointment or sitting. Still, if there are massive infections, curved canals or multi-canals, this could take one or two additional appointments to complete the treatment.

How painful is it?

One of the greatest fright about this sort of treatment is that it will be painful, but if a trained dental surgeon carries out the treatment, it will be relatively painless. The pain which one experience is due to the infection and not from the treatment. The treatment does not cause pain; it helps to relieve it.

The dental surgeon will relieve the pain of the procedure by desensitizing the tooth and surrounding area with local anaesthesia.

After the treatment, some tenderness is quite normal. It is temporary, and over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication may be adequate to relieve it. If required, prescription drugs are available which must be taken as directed. The dentist may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent or treat the infection.

What are the symptoms that a Root Canal is required?

If one needs a root canal, they may observe the following signs:

  • Tooth sensitivity that would remain for longer than usual, especially to heat or cold
  • Deep decay or darkened gums
  • Sharp pain when biting or chewing
  • Pimples on gums
  • Snicked or cracked teeth
  • Painful or swollen gums

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