Root canal therapy is the dental procedure which involves removing infection from inside the infected tooth.

The tooth is made of 2 hard tissue layers followed by one soft tissue layer, namely the enamel, dentin and the ‘pulp’. The pulp is made up of blood vessels and nerves, which provides oxygen and nourishment and sensation to the living tooth.

When the dental caries reaches the pulp, tooth pain (moderate to severe) is caused, which requires Root canal therapy.

Why my cavity cannot be treated with just a filling?

The severity and extent of dental cavities determine the procedure to be undertaken by the dentist. If the cavity is superficial, it can be treated by fillings. However, if there is moderate severe tooth pain, an x-ray has to be taken to evaluate the extent of the cavity, and if it reaches the pulp/close to the pulp, it requires a Root canal treatment and a filling alone will not be sufficient.

Will I experience pain during or after the treatment?

During the procedure, a local anesthetic medication is given, hence the procedure is carried out without pain. Once all the sittings of Root canal treatment is completed there will be pain relief. But, it is normal to have mild discomfort and sensitivity few days after the procedure.Your dentist/endodontist will prescribe medication which has to be consumed for few days as per their instructions.

Is my treatment complete after Root canal?

Once all the sittings of Root canal is complete (single/multiple depending on condition of tooth) the treatment, however, is not complete. Root canal treatment involves complete root cleaning, which weakens the tooth structure even though pain is completely relieved. To prevent damage to root canal treated tooth in the future, a cap(dental crown) has to be placed over the tooth, which completes the treatment and the tooth is safe and sound.

Will i be able to save my tooth by Root canal treatment even if it is broken/badly decayed?

Again, the extent of tooth breakage/cavity is determined by the dentist, and is assessed whether it can be saved or not. If the tooth can be saved but the tooth structure is severely compromised, Post and Core procedure can be undertaken following Root canal. After a post is placed in the root canal, material can be built-up over this, which acts as the tooth structure, over which a cap can be placed.