Root Canal Treatment

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.

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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.

To understand more about root canal treatment, lets first see the structures of a tooth.

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.

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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 an inert bio-friendly material.

What are the steps involved in root canal treatment?

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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. In some cases a post is given to support the filling. 

The tooth is then reinforced with a crown(cap).

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.

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

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