Painless Root Canal Treatment / R.C.T.
Root Canal Treatment or RCT is the treatment of choice when the pulp of the tooth gets infected by the bacteria. R.C.T. which is also known as endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure in which the diseased or damaged pulp (core) of a tooth is removed and the inside areas (the pulp chamber and root canals) are filled and sealed off.
Steps in Completing Root Canal
Gaining access to the nerve area of the tooth (pulp)
Firstly the dentist access' the area inside your tooth where the nerve tissue is present. This is done by using a dental drill and making an "access cavity" that extends upto the pulp chamber of the tooth. On posterior teeth this hole is made on the chewing surface of the tooth. On front teeth the access hole is made on the backside of the teeth.
Cleaning the tooth
The next step of the root canal treatment process is to clean out the interior of your tooth (the pulp chamber and all root canals). This cleaning process removes any bacteria, toxins, nerve tissue, and related debris that are present inside the tooth.
Most of the part of cleaning process is done by using "root canal files" and copious irrigation. Files will scrape and scrub the sides of the tooth's root canal(s) and thus cleans it out. Irrigation helps to flush out all the debris present in the canals.
Determining the length of root canal
Radio graphs are important part of root canal treatment. The dentist takes several x-ray pictures of the tooth to determine the position of the instruments and filling material inside the canals.
Sealing of root canals
Once the tooth root canals are suitably cleaned and shaped and infection free they can be sealed off. A root filling material (gutta percha) is placed into each canal along with a special sealer.
Final restoration after root canal treatment
Placing a suitable final restoration is almost as important as the root treatment itself. If the restoration leaks bacteria can migrate down the side of the root sealer and re-infect the tooth.
First the dentist will have to build up a foundation to strengthen the tooth and support the crown. This build-up is called a core. To help hold the core in place, the dentist may use a post. A post is a metal or a fiber rod to give extra support to the tooth.
Finally, a crown is made and cemented onto the tooth. If a post and core have been placed in the tooth, the crown is then cemented over the post and core.
Why to go for root canal rather than going for extraction of tooth?
Tooth extraction may be an easier and cheaper choice rather than root canal treatment. This seemingly simple and inexpensive choice, however, may prove to be a very poor choice in the long run for the following reasons:
If a tooth is removed, its neighboring teeth will tend to shift towards the vacant space, sometimes significantly. Such change can lead to problems with chewing, aesthetic concerns or jaw joint function. Alignment changes can also create food traps or make it so that teeth's cleaning becomes more difficult. If so, you will be placed at greater risk for developing problems with tooth decay and gum diseases.