Why RCT?
Let’s start with understanding ‘why’ a root canal treatment is needed. Each of our teeth has 3 important layers
Ӣ Enamel (outermost layer)
Ӣ Dentin (next inner layer)
Ӣ Pulp (innermost part)

A small decay in enamel or dentin may or may not cause sensitivity or pain. However, the pulp is the most sensitive part of the tooth as it is connected to nerves and blood vessels (veins and arteries). As and when the pulp is exposed to the outer atmosphere either due to decay or an injury, you are likely to experience tremendous pain. This is exactly when a Root Canal Treatment comes to the rescue of your tooth. Through RCT, the pain can be completely eliminated without extracting the tooth.

Symptoms for RCT:
Persistent tooth pain that radiates to your jaw, other teeth or face
Sensitivity to cold and hot food and drinks
Boil or pimple formation on the gums through which pus emanates
Tooth discolouration wherein the tooth appears darker due to poor blood supply
Cracked or chipped teeth can make you susceptible to bacterial infection
Swollen jaw due to pus accumulation that has not been drained out
An infected tooth that is generating pus can damage the bone supporting the tooth and make it feel looser and make it seem as if it were going to fall out
Note: Tooth extraction is another option that might cost you lesser in terms of money as well as time. But you should not be tempted to take that route. Tooth extraction is not recommended as it can damage the alignment of the whole arch (jaw) with varying magnitude, depending upon the position of the tooth being extracted, and in the long run, it can potentially affect your ability to eat.

Process of RCT
The process of root canal treatment is explained below:

In the ‘Cleaning’ phase, the infected pulp is removed using manual or mechanized files. The inner walls of dentin are cleaned and filled with antiseptics to prevent relapse of infections. This process may be completed by your dentist in a single marathon appointment or over multiple appointments, depending on the condition of your tooth, your pain tolerance and your availability, etc.

However, cleaning the infected pulp and removing caries, etc. may require some time. So it’s important for the patient to have patience and not panic.