Root Canal Treatment

It is “A TOOTH SAVING PROCEDURE” preferred over Extraction. In a healthy tooth the pulp is protected by the outer hard layers.but if the pulp gets infected due to various reasons,the infected pulp has to be removed, cleaned and filled with biofriendly material to reduce pain and infection.This procedure is called endodontic therapy or ROOT CANAL TREATMENT.

When does a tooth require root canal treatment?

  • • Severe decay with pain

  • • Fracture of teeth

  • • Increased pain present during the night especially on lying down position

  • • Severe sensitivity to cold or sweetened foods

  • • Presence of swelling around a tooth seen on the gums

  • • Severely worn out teeth with pain

  • • Trauma/injuries.

What is a tooth made up of ?

A tooth is made up of three layers

• The outer most layer is called the enamel which is white in colour and is the strongest substance in the human body.

• The middle layer is called the dentin which is slightly yellowish in colour and is as hard as bone.

• And the innermost layer is called the pulp which is soft and contains blood vessels and nerves.

What is root canal treatment?

When the decay/ fracture goes deeper crossing enamel and dentin reaching the pulp, it infects the pulp and may present as severe pain. Root canal treatment involves, removing the infected pulp and filling the pulpal space with a inert bio-friendly material.

Do all root canal treated teeth require crowns?

A root canal treated tooth usually becomes more brittle and hence such teeth must be reinforced with a dental crown to increase its longevity.


Medication:Take the prescribed medication before root canal treatment.

Food:Do not come on an empty stomach.Have food before 2 hours of the procedure. The anesthesia given will wear off only after 2 hours so it is not possible to have food for 2 hrs after the procedure.

What are the steps involved in root canal treatment?

FIRST STEP: – Removal of caries and access is gained to the pulpal space and root canals.

SECOND STEP: – Determining the length of the tooth root using X-rays and apex locators.

THIRD STEP: – Cleaning and shaping the root canals upto the end of the root using hand and rotary files.

FOURTH STEP: – Filling of the root canals with an inert harmless root canal filling material.

FIFTH STEP: – The crown portion is filled with permanent filling and the tooth is replaced by a crown.


• Do not have food for 2 hours.

• Do not gargle for 1 hour.

• Do salt warm water gargling after 2 hours.

• Do not chew on that side.

• Do not skip the prescribed medication.

•To go for a crown for the longievity of the treatment.

• Brush normally.

Microscopic Endodontics

Root canals done under microscope.

Microscopic Root Canal Treatment

One of the most exciting developments in the field of Endodontics (root canal treatment) is the operating microscope, which makes possible extreme magnification. This helps to identify and treat even minute structures and problem areas. It helps to achieve excellent long-term results.

Teeth may have one to three root canals which contain the pulp. Some of these canals are very thin. If root canal treatment is to be successful it is essential to detect and treat all root canals.

But now, microscopic magnification and advances in endodontics are helping to save teeth that might have been lost some years ago.

Benefits of RCT under Microscope

• Increased visualization,

• Improved quality and precision of treatment,

• Ease of proper digital documentation and

• Increased communication ability through integrated video.


The infection around the tooth/bone is removed by surgical endodontics,where root canal treatment alone cannot remove the infection.

The most common is called an apicoectomy, or root-end resection.


  • • Infection around the tooth.

  • • The gum tissue around the tooth is opened. The infected tissue is removed.

  • • The end of the root is also removed. A small filling may be placed to seal the end of the root canal and sutures are placed.

  • • Over a period of months,the bone heals around the end of the root.

Authored By : Dr. S. Hemamalathi and Dr. K. S Senthil Kumar

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