Root Canal Treatment or RCT, How is it Performed and Why?
You must have had your friends complain or for that matter you, yourself, about toothaches and have the doctor tell you to undergo a root canal treatment or RCT and all you do is just nod your head in fear thinking about the fact that you need to go under the drill to stop that tooth from aching. Having heard whispers about root canal treatment to be extremely painful and an obnoxious procedure, you start freaking out not caring about the fact that it would release you of your pain in the long run. But what exactly is this root canal treatment and what does it involve?
Why root canal treatment or RCT?
The term “root canal” comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth’s root. A root canal treatment helps to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth. Inside the tooth and under the white enamel, is a soft tissue called the pulp. This pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, which helps in the growth of the root of your tooth during development. Sometimes, due to various factors the pulp gets affected and causes severe pain. Root canal procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth i.e. the pulp, cleaning and disinfecting it and then filling and sealing it.
What does RCT or Root Canal Treatment involve?
Once root canal treatment or RCT is confirmed, you will have to undergo a series of steps
- Starting with anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth to reach the pulp chamber. The infected pulp is then cleaned and removed out of the canals.
- Irrigation method is used to help clean the canals and remove debris.
- The canal is then filled with a permanent material that helps to keep the canal free of infection or contamination called the gutta-percha.
- A temporary filling material is placed on top of the gutta-percha to seal the opening. This temporary filling remains until the tooth receives a permanent filling or a crown.
- The crown looks like a natural tooth and is placed over the top of the tooth (The crown is sometimes referred to as a cap).
- Once the tooth is covered with the cap, your tooth is good to go and it continues to function like any other tooth free of pain.
With modern techniques like Laser assisted root canal treatment and the use of anesthesia, root canal treatment or RCT is painless and can be completed within an hour which would otherwise take hours or even several appointments to the dentist this is called single sitting Root Canal Treatment. The treated tooth remains sensitive for a few days after treatment before it completely heals and you can gulp down anything that you weren’t supposed or could not eat because of that aching tooth.
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