What is Root Canal Treatment (RCT)?
Root Canal Treatment is the treatment procedure to save an infected or injured tooth. The procedure involves removal of the affected pulp tissue which has infected blood vessels & nerve fibres, clears infection and relieves tooth pain.
Root Canal Treatment Procedure
- The affected tooth is anaesthetized with a local anaesthesia
- Tooth is then drilled, to reach the pulp chamber and to have access to the pulp chamber and root canals.
- Fine instruments are used to reach the root canals and to clear the infected tissue. These are called reamers, files and are available in various dimensions.
- Files of suitable sizes are used for mechanical cleaning and shaping of the canals. The files used can vary from 0.06 mm to 2 mm in diameter. To give you an idea, the thickness of human hair varies from 0.02 mm to 0.2 mm, so a dental file is finer than a thick strand of human hair.
- Irrigating solutions help to dissolve and flush out the tissue and toxins of organisms.
- These solutions aid in chemical cleaning of the canals.
- Thus at the end of the Root Canal Treatment procedure, we ensure that the tooth is free from any infection, the abscess if any has been completely drained out and the canals are in the desired conical shape to receive canal filling.
Now the tooth is filled with a material called gutta-percha (derived from a tree of the same name) which is specifically designed to fill root canals. This filling denies the entry of microorganisms into the root canals and bone around the tooth in future. Thus the infected tooth is back in action and continues to serve you for long time.
What are the indications for RCT?
RCT or Root Canal Treatment is advised under the following conditions.
• Tooth (Pulp) infection due to decay. Pulp refers to the innermost part of the tooth which contains nerves and blood vessels.
• Injury to the tooth leading to pulpal death.
• Infected gums and bone as in periodontitis, can infect the pulp structure of teeth.
• For aesthetic/cosmetic dental treatments, to correct the alignment of protruded or twisted teeth, intentional Root canal treatment is done.
What is rotary endodontics OR Rotary RCT?
Rotary RCT is a novel approach to cleaning the root canals of a tooth. It is done with the help of specialized motor driven equipment. Earlier it had to be done manually.
- Rotary RCT procedure uses special files made of Ni-Ti (Nickel – Titanium) which are highly flexible.
- These pass easily along the curved path of the canals while cleaning. Each tooth can have anywhere from one to four (or more) canals.
- The motorized equipment is more efficient in cleaning the canals while at the same time, retaining the original path of the canals which is essential to achieve the best results.
They give a conical form to the canals. This form is required for canal irrigants to reach the apical area of the root and also in the placement of filling material into the canal.
Rotary RCT procedure demands less time, is more accurate and more comfortable for the patients.
what is a tooth abscess?
A tooth abscess is a very painful condition associated with an infected tooth.
Infection of the pulp leads to its death and pus accumulation. This pus accumulation applies pressure on the nerve endings.
Patient will have a feeling of tooth being elevated from the socket.
There can be varying degrees of swelling.
This condition cannot be recognized in the initial stages on the radiograph as bone destruction is minimal.
Sometimes this pus might get extruded out through the soft tissues or the swelling might spread to other regions of the face and neck.
Immediate drainage of pus from the tooth with abscess will relieve the pain. Procedure could be accompanied with medications like antibiotics and pain killers.
What is Apicoectomy or Surgical Endodontics?
Apicoectomy or Surgical Endodontics is a minor surgical procedure to remove the infected tips of the roots and to clean the surrounding infected bone of a root canal treated tooth.
Surgical Endodontic procedure is suggested when the RCT or Root Canal Treatment (and re-treatment) has failed to clear the infection around the tooth root.
During the procedure, access is established to the root tips through gums. Root tips are removed and the canals are sealed from the side of the remaining root tip. The infected tissues around the roots are removed; the site is thoroughly irrigated to clear the debris and cleaned to encourage healing of the surrounding bone.
Bone grafting might be required in cases of considerable bone destruction around the root tips.