Root Canal Treatment & Fillings

Endodontic therapy is commonly referred as Root Canal Therapy (RCT). It is a sequence of treatment for the pulp of a tooth which has been infected over a period of time.

A root canal is a hollow cavity within the tooth that houses the vital part of the tooth-the pulp. The pulp provides nutrition to the tooth via the blood and is also responsible for tooth sensitivity because of the presence of the nerves.



If a canal ever gets infected, which generally occurs when tooth cavities destroys the big portion of the tooth, the pulp gets exposed to the outer environment. At this stage the patient feels an intense pain that might even radiate to head and ear, sensitivity to hot and cold and discomfort. If left untreated, an infection occurs causing the death of the pulp and also infection of the surrounding bone. The stage is usually associated with the inability of the tooth to withstand chewing forces. Unless still treated, this pain will likely remain and could result in the tooth eventually falling out.

In order to prevent tooth loss, a root canal surgery must be performed. The surgery is designed to clear out diseased material from inside the canal. To perform a root canal surgery, a hole is drilled into the tooth to allow access to the inner pulp. The diseased pulp is completely removed with special instruments, and the cavity is usually filled and capped with specific inert material. The surgery is almost painless as it is done under local anesthesia.

In our clinic more than 80% of the RCT,s are done as single-sitting Root Canal Therapy except a few which require more than a sitting due to the presence of infection.

 

After the surgery, the tooth will remain sensitive to pressure for 2-3 days so chewing hard foods on it is not recommended for that period. However, a successful root canal surgery can restore a patient’s ability to chew without continuous pain or the possibility of losing that tooth.

 

REINFORCING RCT TREATED TOOTH WITH CROWN/CAP

RCT  is half the treatment done without having crown or cap.
After the RCT the tooth will be "dead" and painless as all the nerves and blood vessels have been removed. Thus the tooth is deprived of its nutrition and tends to become brittle. This increases the chances of its fracture. We recommend that all RCT treated teeth should be reinforced with crowns or caps.

Sometimes, RCT treated teeth present specific restorative problems because they frequently have insufficient healthy tooth structure remaining to retain the final restoration. Special pins called as posts are used to provide necessary retention for the cores and to prevent separation of the crown from the root.
The post and cores are available as prefabricated posts or may be individually cast both for anterior and posterior teeth. The procedure involved is simple though technique sensitive. A properly selected case and dowel technique plays an important role in the reinforcement of the tooth.

FILLINGS

A cavity calls for your dentist to remove the decay and to fill in the tooth area that was removed in order to prevent further decay and strengthen the affected tooth. There have been lots of advances in modern dentistry that make this process much more comfortable and use materials that are safer and more esthetically pleasing.
DO YOU HAVE?

  • Food lodgment in between your teeth?
  • Sensitivity (sensation) of teeth to hot or cold liquids or foods?
  • Pain/sensation in teeth on having something sweet?
  • Pain in teeth on chewing/eating anything or applying pressure?

If yes then you could have decay/cavity/caries

If a small amount of food debris is left in your teeth, the bacteria which are present in the mouth react with the food. As a result, acid is produced. This acid starts dissolving out the tooth leading to decay/cavity/ caries or a hole in the tooth.
 Filling of teeth usually requires one sitting. It is a painless procedure. If tooth decay is not treated and allowed to spread the pulp of the tooth is destroyed which then needs root canal treatment or removal of tooth.


IT IS BEST TO GET THE TOOTH CHECKED AT THIS STAGE:

This would involve a short visit to the dentist and the problem is resolved by getting a filling in the tooth which could be silver or of a white tooth colored material [cosmetic /composite filling]. If ignored, the cavity becomes bigger, penetrates the top layer (enamel), middle layer (dentine) to reach and infect the nerve of the tooth. It is now beyond the filling stage.