Root Canal: Procedure and Guidelines


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What is a root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment or endodontic treatment is necessary when the centre part within the tooth, known as the pulp, housing the blood vessels, nerves and living connective tissues, become infected or inflamed.

The root canal procedure is performed to save a damaged or badly infected tooth, instead of extracting it. This procedure is performed by an endodontist or a root canal specialist.

The most common causes of tooth damage or infection are, cavities occurring due to plaque accumulation, cracked or broken tooth due to any accidents or trauma, gum diseases, and repeated dental treatment to a particular tooth. These issues can cause pulp inflammation, infection and damage the pulp irreversibly. The person will at times experience excruciating pain. The pain may subside when the pulp dies, but very often returns as the infection spreads.

It is advisable to see a general dentist immediately if you experience a toothache or gum pain.

How is root canal procedure done?

The entire root canal procedure may take place in one sitting, or at times 2 or 3 sessions depending on the condition of the tooth. Each sitting may last between 30 - 90 minutes. It is a simple procedure with relatively little or no discomfort.

  1. At the outset, local anesthesia is administered to the tooth which is to be treated.

  2. After the tooth and the surrounding areas become numb, the endodontist drills an opening through the crown or the biting surface of the tooth to access the pulp chamber. If it is a front tooth, the endodontist drills an opening from behind the tooth.

  3. Using special files the endodontist cleans out the infected, diseased and dead pulp from the canals. The procedure does not cause any pain as the area is numb due to the anesthesia, and the tissue that is removed is dead.


  4. Once all the infected and dead tissue is removed, the canals are disinfected using disinfectants.


  5. The canals are then shaped with fine instruments so that they can be filled with the root canal fillings known as gutta-percha and sealed. During the process of shaping, irrigation method is used to wash and clean the canals and remove the debris, before inserting the fillings and sealing the tooth.


  6. A temporary cover material which acts like a seal is placed above the gutta percha. This covering material is kept in place till a crown or a cap which looks like a normal tooth is fitted atop the treated tooth.
    At times, a post is inserted into the canal next to the gutta percha to give the crown more support.


  7. Thereafter, the crown is cemented in place so that it never dislodges.

Are there any side effects of root canal procedure?

  • A common side effect of root canal treatment is a dull pain in the tooth following the procedure. It usually vanishes within a week after the treatment.
    However, if any bacteria remains even after the procedure, the infection may begin again. Therefore, it is advisable to go to the doctor if the pain stops after a few days of the procedure and recurs again.


  • At times there could be a crack at the root of the tooth, which does not get noticed by the endodontist. If so, the crack leaves the area exposed for bacteria and infection.


  • The crown may come loose which will expose the treated tooth. If left exposed the seal on the tooth may erode leaving the way for bacteria to enter and infect the tooth again.
    If the crown dislodges, you need to get it fixed at your dentist’s immediately.


  • If defective materials are used during the filling process, they may erode which may lead to bacterial infection again.

Who is not eligible for root canal procedure?

You are not eligible for root canal treatment if you are:

  • suffering from high blood pressure/hypertension
  • take blood thinners (the endodontist may ask you to stop taking the blood thinners for a couple of days prior to the treatment)
  • suffering from diabetes
  • suffering from autoimmune diseases
  • suffering from infections and fever
  • suffering from osteoporosis

Are there any post-treatment guidelines after a root canal procedure?

The post-treatment guidelines of root canal treatment include:

  • Take the antibiotics as advised by the dentist.


  • Maintaining good oral hygiene is extremely important, with regular brushing and teeth flossing.
  • It is advisable to not eat or drink anything for a couple of hours after root canal treatment. Since the treated area is numb, there are chances of accidentally biting your teeth or tongue while eating. You can eat after the numbness wears off.


  • Avoid hard and crunchy foods for a few days after a root canal treatment.
  • If the opening on your teeth has been filled with temporary filling, chances are that some of the filling may wear off in between appointments. If the entire filling wears off you need to consult your dentist immediately.

How long will it take to recover after a root canal procedure?

It usually takes a week to completely recover from a root canal treatment.

What is the cost of root canal treatment in India?

A root canal treatment in India costs around Rs. 2000. The price of the crown or cap is additional and is between Rs. 3000 - Rs 4500.

Are the results of root canal procedure permanent?

The results of root canal treatment are considered to be permanent.

Would you like to consult a doctor for Root Canal ?

Patient Experiences

Kamal
Very Satisfied With Root Canal Treatent
I FLEW IN FROM MALAYSIA FOR 2 DAYS JUST TO RECEIVE TREATMENT FROM DR SENGUPTA FOR MY WIFE AND MYSELF TOO . I WAS HERE IN INDIA ON VACATION 10 MONTHS BACK WHEN I STARTED TO EXPERIENCE PAIN IN ONE OF MY TEETH . HE HAD PERFORMED THE RCT PROCEDURE WITH UNIMAGINABLE FINESSE IN 2 APPOINTMENTS . I HAD ANOTHER DECAYED TOOTH WHICH BECAME PAINFUL SINCE LAST 2 MONTHS AND I COULDN'T THINK OF ANYONE ELSE OTHER THAN HIM . HE RETREATED MY WIFE'S PREVIOUSLY ROOT CANAL TREATED TOOTH DONE IN KUALA LAMPUR. THERE WAS NO CHANGE IN THE ENDRESULT THIS TIME TOO . DR SENGUPTA DOESNT HURRY AT ALL AND EXPLAINS THE PROCEDURE BEFOREHAND IN GREAT DETAILS . I JUST CANT THANK HIM ENOUGH FOR ALL THE FAVOURS FROM HIM . HE IS A HUMBLE PERSON WHO HAS NOTHING BUT GOOD WISHES AND CONCERNS FOR HIS PATIENTS . WHENEVER HE COMES TO MALAYSIA MY HOME WILL ALWAYS BE OPEN FOR HIM . ...Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Shuvro Sengupta
Sensiv Dental Clinic
Mukherjee
Painless Root Canal Treatment
I never felt any kind of pain during my tooth extraction or even root canaling and fillings. It was work of a trained hand and 100℅ satisfied with doctors skills and very good clinic he has....Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Sourabh Nagpal
Matrix Dental And Skin Lounge
Taruna
Virtual No Pain Root Canal treatment
The first thing that strikes you about Dr Pruthi is how amazingly down to earth a doctor he is; a quality that is rarely seen in doctors these days. His empathetic nature makes it so easy for a patient to feel comfortable and at ease in his capable hands. He is confident, knowledgeable and skillful and I believe it was truly due to these factors that I felt virtually no pain during or after my root canal treatment & tooth extraction. I had to get a wisdom tooth extracted surgically since the tooth was lodged under the jaw bone. The bone had to be cut and incisions needed to be made along the jaw. I had stitches inside my mouth and I could not believe that I didn’t require taking any pain killer to deal with the pain (although he had recommended pain killers to ease the pain and discomfort). Before me, it was my seventy six years old father who got ten tooth implants done by him. The whole process of tooth extraction and implants was done very skillfully and methodically by Dr Pruthi which led to minimal discomfort to my father in carrying out his daily routine. His dedication and passion for his profession is evident from the fact that he is always keen to improvise his skill set by constantly upgrading his technical competencies and keeping himself updated about the latest in his field. ...Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Sachin Pruthi
Pruthi Dental Care & Orthodontics Centre

Questions answered by trusted doctors

Verified User
As I need to go under a root canal..But afraid very much... What to do now.. Can you please explain me
Dr. Ratnika Agarwal
Dental Surgeon, Pune
Root canal treatment Is used as a way to save a tooth that is labelled as ‘dead’.Root canal treatment, or endodontic treatment, is the procedure involving the removal of infected or dead pulp from your tooth root canal area (The area inside of the hard part of your tooth).Once this matter is removed the cavity is filled with a permanent filling, and finally fitted with a crown. Your tooth has now been saved. RCT Procedures are done under local anaesthesia hence you won't feel pain during the treatment. After your root canal is completed you may feel some discomfort in the treated tooth.Painkillers will help to manage this discomfort once the anesthetic wears off, and the pain should subside after a few days. For any more query or treatment visit us today.Dr Ratnika Agarwal , Dental Surgeon/Owner of Smile Up Dental Care & Implant Center ,PUNE
Dr. Ajay Mootha
Prosthodontist, Pune
Root canal is a routine dental treatment. Its done under local anaesthesia. Believe me post local anaesthesia its painless in 90% cases.
Dr. Puja Bansal
Dentist, Pune
Hello, visit a dentist and get it checked. get an X-ray done.Root canal treatment is a common procedure done by a dentist in a routine practice. dont worry and get it done.
Dr. Anil Kumar Jain
General Physician, Bangalore
Hello there.

I can understand your concern.
You don't need to go under a root canal.
You need to undergo a root canal.
What you need to do now is "just undergo the root canal"
Here is the explaination- "leave from your house for the dentist's clinic and then sit there, then undergo the root canal treatment and then go back home and then take rest"
Best regards.
Dr. Anil Kumar Jain.
Bangalore.

Dr. Himanshu Ajwani
Implantologist, Pune
Hello Maam. Please do not worry as with latest advancement in technology, root canal treatment is a relatively painless procedure & can be done in one sitting by an experienced dentist or an endodontist depending on the extent of infection present.
Dr. Shruti Joshi
Dentist, Thane
Hi,Please do not worry as with latest advancement in technology root canal is relatively painless procedure & can be done in one sitting by an Endodontist or root canal specialist.
Verified User
Root canal treatment is completed how much time it will take to put a cap after root canal treatment
Dr. Prof. Mahendra Raj
Oral Medicine and Radiology, Chennai
You are supposed to immediately cap the RCT treated tooth as soon or it will crack Many types of Crowns available from Rs 1000/
Dr. Anu Gupta
Dental Surgeon, Mumbai
It's advisable to wait at least for 1 week after completion of root canal
Dr. Umang Shah
Dentist, Pune
It is always recommended to wait after completion of root canal and than proceed with cap..say around 2 weeks
Dr. Parag M. Khatri
Dentist, Mumbai
Fixing or putting of cap will depend on how much of your tooth structure is destroyed post Root canal treatment . If it’s recommended that you need cap then you can fix it in few days time post root canal treatment completion.
Verified User
After root canal treatment how many days it will take to keep the cap on the treated tooth and which cap is best??
Dr. Sandhya Lochav
Dentist, Delhi
Usually after rct is completed and you have no pain in your for about a week, u can get a cap placed on your tooth.  Every cap is best depending on the tooth. That's ur choice.  A metal cap would provide strength but not aesthetics,in pfm cap, porcelain will provide tooth colour and metal strength, zirconia is the best if it comes with warranty card as it provides strength n tooth colour. Prefer zirconia for front tooth as asthetics are best with it.
Dr. Yogesh Sonawane
Dentist, Nashik
Cap is made to adjust and bear forces of mastication so it should be kept forever.
Different types of caps are available in the market like WM,PFM(ceramic),ceramic free metals etc.out of which zirconia is the best.
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Did you know?

Root Canal is not a painful treatment

Contrary to what people think root canal, if done properly and by an experienced dentist is not at all painful. Infact, it is a painless procedure. Minimal pain may occur later as a side effect which can be easily countered with pain killers.

The cost of root canal treatment depends on many factors

The cost of a root canal treatment depends on many factors such as, is the treatment to be done on a front or back (as front teeth usually have one canal in the dental root so it easier and less time taking, while back teeth usually have multiple, curved canals making the procedure difficult, tedious and costlier), degree of infection, is it to be done by a root canal specialist or a general dentist, number of root canal sessions required, and even the location of the clinic.

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