Root Canal Treatment
A tooth is basically made up of 2 parts:
- The crown is what you see above your gumline.
- The root is below the gumline.
Four different tissues constitute your tooth. They are:
- Enamel: the durable outer covering.
- Dentine: the second layer in the dentin which supports the enamel and carries some of the new fibers which tell you when something is going wrong.
- Pulp: centre position of the tooth. It has soft tissues containing blood vessels and nerves.
- Cementum: The tooth covering is cementum.
When do you need a RCT?
- When there is a cavity in the enamel, a simple filling will suffice.
- You notice slight sensitivity but no pain, the cavity has proceeded further to dentine; in this stage too we can fill it and save the tooth.
- Untreated cavity is a common cause of pulp infection. It is in this stage there is pain/swelling i.e., the infection has reached the nerves and it is at this stage, RCT is required to preserve the tooth.
- Yet another cause for RCT is trauma in the tooth involving the nerve (pulp).
Signs and Symptoms
- Tooth hurts on chewing.
- It is sensitive to hot/cold/sweets.
- Swelling near the tooth.
- Fractured tooth.
- Discoloured tooth.
The RCT is done
The affected area is made numb; then the cavity is cleaned, the infection from the nerves is removed and the canal is shaped. It can be done in one more visits depending on the rate of infection. If the canal is clean without any discharge, the RCT can be completed in one visit. After cleaning the canal, it is filled with a plasticized filling material.
The restoration of the broken part of the tooth structure is called core buildup. In other words, it is the permanent hard filling to restore the broken part of the tooth.
A root canal treated tooth is brittle and tends to break easily. Therefore, it needs a crown to withstand the eating forces. The RC treated tooth is shaped to accommodate the crown. The RC procedure is completed with the fixation of a crown.