Root Canal Treatment (RCT)

Root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it.

The term "root canal" comes from cleaning the canals inside a tooth's root. Decades ago, root canal treatments often were painful. With dental advances and local anesthetics, most people have slight pain with a root canal. It's probably more painful living with a decayed tooth. Root canal alternatives include extracting the damaged tooth and replacing it with a dental implant, bridge, or removable partial denture.


A root canal is usually done by an endodontist or a general dentist. The root canal usually takes one or two visits, but sometimes additional visits are required because some teeth prove difficult to treat. First, you have dental X-rays to check the extent of the damage. You also receive a local anesthetic to control pain, which may be more severe if the tooth is abscessed. Then a rubber-like sheet called a dental dam is put in your mouth to keep the tooth clean, protected, and free of saliva. Decay is removed, and an opening is made through the tooth's crown to gain access to the pulp chamber. Using small dental instruments, the infected or diseased pulp is removed.

  • Accessing and cleaning the roots: Next, the dentist drills through the tooth to access the root canals and pulp chamber. The dentist uses instruments to clean out the pulp chamber and root canals. An antibacterial and antiseptic solution is used to clean and disinfect the canals. This eliminates the bacteria and treats the infection located in the canals.
  • Shaping the canals: The dentist must place a filling in the root canals. First, the canals must be shaped. The dentist will use tiny instruments to shape the canals to be ready to receive the filling material. Once shaped, the canals are cleaned a second time.
  • Filling the canals: The dentist will use gutta-percha to fill the canals. This rubber-like material is placed inside the canals and then heated. The dentist compresses it so it fits snuggly against the walls. The dentist adds adhesive cement to seal the canals further. Properly sealed canals keep bacteria out.
  • Filling the Access Chamber:The dentist must also seal the holes to access the canals. The filling prevents bacteria from entering the tooth. The dentist also might need to place a post in a canal to strengthen the tooth. This is only necessary if the tooth is severely damaged and cannot support restoration on its own.
  • Healing and antibiotics: The dentist might send the patient home with a prescription for antibiotics. The medication kills the rest of the infection. The patient will also have post-care instructions. It is normal to experience some discomfort for a few days after the procedure. Over-the-counter pain medications usually alleviate the discomfort.

After your root canal, your restored tooth with the new crown should work normally and look cosmetically pleasing. If you follow good dental and oral hygiene, your restored tooth could last a lifetime. The tooth may be sensitive the first few days after your root canal. Over-the-counter pain medications can help. If pain or pressure lasts more than a few days, be sure to talk to your dentist or endodontist.

What are the benefits & risks of Root Canal Treatment (RCT)?

Root canal therapy should be carried out as soon as possible as it is the only way of properly dealing with the infection that doesn't involve removing a tooth!

The primary benefits associated with root canal include:

  • Relieve symptoms of infection
  • Improved appearance
  • Prevent extraction

While a root canal is a very safe and common procedure, there are a few potential complications and risks that you should be aware of. These include:

  • Pain
  • Undetected cracks in the root
  • Erosion of the filling/seal

Consult with our experienced Doctors

JNU is home to some of the most eminent doctors in the world, most of whom are pioneers in their respective arenas and are renowned for developing innovative and revolutionary procedures