Root canal treatment or RCT is most often the last attempt at saving an infected tooth.Excruciating pain is relieved immediately after an access into the root canal cavity of the tooth is gained. If multiple attempts at root canal treatment do not work, thenthe tooth may need to be extracted.
The root canal
Running down the length of the tooth up to the root, is the pulp chamber, also called the root canal. This canal is filled with pulp which is necessary for growth of the tooth. If this pulp gets infected due to exposure of the pulp or trauma to the tooth, pus gradually develops inside the root canal and causes pressure within the chamber, resulting in severe pain and discomfort.
· Identification of the Infected Tooth - The dentist first identifies the painful tooth with the help of clinical and radiographic examination. An X-ray image of the infected tooth will also be needed to determine which of the roots is infected, and its orientation as well as the orientation of the root canal.
· Gaining Access into the Root Canal Cavity - The root canal is then opened by drilling a hole on the chewing surface of the tooth.
· Pulp Removal and Canal Disinfection – The infected pulp is then removed with the help of various sizes and shapes of endodontic files, and the canal cleaned. The canal is then washed and dried.
· Obturation – finally, the hollow canal is filled with an inert material and sealed with a temporary filling for a few days.
· Permanent Restoration - When the dentist is satisfied that the pain has gone, the temporary filling is replaced with a permanent filling.
· Placement of a Crown - A crown over the tooth may be recommended depending on the condition of the repaired tooth.
Number of visits
Two visits are quite normal. The second visit is for the permanent filling if everything has gone well. Some experienced dentists may complete the procedure in one sitting.