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Root Canal Therapy – Everything you need to know

“You are required to undergo Root Canal Therapy!”

Do these words sound frightful? –  You possibly fear thinking about the fact that you need to undergo the drill and the procedure might be painful. This fear could be because of the incorrect information you must have read or heard from unverified sources. The best source to gather your information about a for yourself is from your dentist. 

In this article, we will highlight –

  • What is Root canal Therapy?
  • Signs and symptoms you need a root canal therapy
  • How is a root canal performed, what are the steps involved in a ?
  • What is Assisted Root Canal Therapy?
  • Benefits of therapy
  • What to eat after root canal therapy
  • What can be done if a Root Canal Fails
  • Cost of Root Canal therapy in Bangalore, India
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canal Therapy

What is Root canal Therapy?

Let's first understand the Root Canal – 

We all know a tooth consists of the crown and the roots, where the roots attach the tooth to the jawbone. Inside the crown and the root, or the root canal, is the dental pulp – a hollow section of a tooth that contains the nerve tissue, blood vessels, and other cells, known as the dental pulp.  The pulp nourishes the tooth and provides moisture to the surrounding material. The nerves in the pulp sense temperatures as pain.

Root canal has become a commonly used term to talk about the procedure, however, it is actually a type of Endodontic therapy. “Endo” is the Greek word for ”inside” and “'odont” is Greek for “tooth.; It's treating the inside of the tooth. A root canal is done to remove bacteria from the infected root canal of the tooth and prevent it from further infection. 

Endodontic treatment is recommended by dentists when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed and infected. There are various reasons why the root canal may become inflamed or infected – , missing or , repeated procedures on the same tooth, and more. If pulp inflammation or infection is diagnosed, one should not leave it untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.

Signs and symptoms you need a root canal therapy

There are a few classic symptoms that signal that you need a root canal treatment—

  • Severe pain while chewing or biting
  • A chipped or cracked tooth
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Deep decay or darkening of the gums
  • Pimples on the gums

It's best to visit the dentist when you start noticing these signs and symptoms. Once the dentists diagnose it, you need to start the treatment; without treatment, the infection will spread, and eventually, the tooth will become loose and need an extraction. 

Removing a tooth or may mean that the surrounding teeth start to move and become crooked. This can look unsightly, and it can make it hard to have a good bite. Root canal therapy will usually save the tooth and eliminate the pain; but if left untreated, sometimes your dentist will not be able to save the tooth. If the tooth cannot be saved, the next best option is an implant.

However, saving the natural tooth is best because nothing functions as well as a natural tooth.

What does RCT Involve? Or What is the Procedure for Root Canal Therapy?

Root canal therapy is done in three steps, and it takes between one and three sessions to complete.

Root canal therapy procedure
  1. Cleaning the root canal – 

An anesthesia is administered to numb the area around the tooth. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth to reach the pulp chamber. The infected pulp is then cleaned and removed out of the canals. Irrigation method is used to help clean the canals and remove debris.

  1. Filling the root canal 

The canal is then filled with a permanent material that helps to keep the canal free of infection or contamination called the gutta-percha.

A temporary filling material is placed on top of the gutta-percha to seal the opening. This temporary filling remains until the tooth receives a permanent filling or a crown. After root canal therapy, the tooth is dead, you will no longer feel any pain in that tooth as the nerve tissue has been removed, and the infection is removed. 

  1. Placing a crown

The tooth will now be more fragile than it was before and is not fit for a bite. Hence, a crown or filling is required for protection. The crown looks like a natural tooth and is placed over the top of the tooth (The crown is sometimes referred to as a cap). Once the tooth is covered with the cap, your tooth is good to go and it continues to function like any other tooth free of pain.

What is Laser-Assisted Root Canal Therapy?

While drills and other dental tools have been used for a long time to remove the infected pulp from a decayed tooth, the additional use of laser in the treatment has made quite the changes in how the entire Root Canal procedure works. 

With the advent of lasers in endodontics, root canal therapy is no longer a dreaded dental procedure. Laser-Assisted Root Canal therapy has shown to be more beneficial compared to conventional root canal treatment especially in terms of pain and disinfection. Dental lasers offer a high degree of accuracy and safety compared to conventional methods. 

The laser emits an energy beam that can cut into all sorts of materials like teeth and gum tissue. The laser treatment works by producing non-thermal photoacoustic shock waves – i.e. it uses two laser wavelengths Er: YAG and Nd: YAG,/Diod making the best use of the unique laser-tissue interaction features of each wavelength. Er: YAG induces shock waves in the cleaning solutions and Nd: YAG has a superior bactericidal effect. The canals and accessory canals are clean debris consisting of bacteria and infection. When the laser is introduced into the tooth access, you see the solution pulsating with the debris of dead tissue streaming out of the access hole making the canals free of dead tissues.

Lasers have the ability to reach the deepest pockets and target bacteria areas with greater accuracy. This helps in preserving healthier tooth structure and ensuring it is completely disinfected. Laser-assisted RCT helps in the reduction of at least 99% bacteria as the root canal approaches sterilization. Since the laser has the ability to reach and clean the accessory canal, the root canal sealer can reach right at the bottom of the root canal which results in a better seal of the root canal.

Benefits of Laser-Assisted Root Canal therapy

Lesser pain with Laser-assisted Root Canal Treatment – Traditional root canal treatment follows cleaning and disinfection of root canals by mechanical debridement and using chemical agents like chlorhexidine, sodium hypochlorite, etc. However, this chemical-mechanical approach may not always achieve complete sterilization. And in most cases may lead to reinfection and rarely, failure of root canal therapy. When lasers are used in addition to these chemo-mechanical methods to ensure complete disinfection of the root canals, they seize infection and effectuate a sterile atmosphere in the infected root canals.

Laser-assisted root canal treatment has a high level of precision and allows dentists to target specific areas that are being worked on without harming the surrounding gum tissue. Additionally, most procedures performed with lasers do not require anesthesia. If pain is something that makes you nervous about undergoing root canal therapy, talk to your dentist about laser-assisted Root Canal therapy. However, please remember, Laser-assisted Root Canal Treatment does not eliminate pain completely, the pain is simply much lesser compared to conventional methods. 

  • Laser treatment is precise and more accurate than conventional root canal therapy. The traditional RCT methods can make it difficult for the drill to reach small cavity areas and clean the infected area. Due to incomplete cleaning of the canal space, reinfection can occur and in the later stages, it might be difficult to save the tooth.
  • With laser-assisted RCT, the tooth will be stronger and have adequate protection against further decay and damage.
  • Laser-assisted RCT helps in reducing the risk of re-infection. It also helps in keeping the removal of dentinal tissue to a minimum.
  • There is reduced use of drills in laser-assisted treatment and comparatively less pain.
  • Reduces postoperative discomfort and infection.
  • The cavity prepared using laser-assisted root canal treatment lasts longer. 

you may also want to read the difference between a regular RCT procedure vs laser-assisted RCT procedure

Is Root canal procedure or therapy painful?

A root canal therapy is done to relieve you of the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation and infection. Given modern dental technologies, like laser-assisted root canal therapy, patients report minimal pain during the procedure. Also, anesthesia is administered before the procedure begins. 

The tooth and the surrounding area may feel sensitive after the first few days of the therapy. The dentist will provide some over-the-counter pills for pain relief. Having sensitivity and slight pain is normal post the treatment. However, if you have severe pain or pressure or pain that lasts more than a week, call your dentist.

What foods to eat after root canal therapy?

As we have seen, the root canal treatment cleans the tooth from the inside, clearing out the dead pulp and replacing it with a strong filling material to repair the tooth. After which your tooth is sealed and secured with a crown (cap) and it continues to function normally, free from decay. But the most common question asked after the surgery is, “What can I eat?”  

Once your root canal therapy is complete, you have to be careful not to tease and cause irritation to that part of your mouth that has gone under the drill. Eating wrong could increase the chance of breaking or damaging the tooth, which would lead to further complications and the possibility of additional dental treatments.

What food can you eat after root canal therapy?

  • Fruits like banana, mango, papaya, peaches, fruit smoothies.
  • Ice-creams, yogurt, milkshakes, etc. free from nuts.
  • Mashed vegetables like potatoes.
  • Oatmeal and soft cereals: You can have foods like oatmeal, smoothies, and yogurt immediately after the surgery – it will help soothe the treated area

What NOT to eat and drink after root canal therapy?

  • Crunchy foods like carrots and apples, could damage the tooth and cause pain.
  • Hard foods such as nuts
  • Chewy foods like chewing gums and candies could pull out the temporary filling.
  • Hot food like soup, coffee, or tea can cause sensitivity and should be avoided
  • Avoid alcohol, it can increase bleeding
  • Any other food that would cause discomfort or sensitivity.

read our detailed article on what you can or not eat eat after a root canal treatment

Are there any side effects or risks in a Root canal procedure?

A root canal is performed in an effort to save your tooth. Sometimes, however, the damage is too deep or the enamel is too frail to withstand the procedure. These factors can lead to loss of the tooth.

Another risk is developing an abscess at the root of the tooth if some of the infected material remains behind, this is mostly when the procedure is conducted using the traditional root canal procedure or if the antibiotics have not been quite effective.

If you're not very sure about a root canal, talk to your dentist about other available options or an extraction instead. Although a dentist will always opt for saving your tooth before choosing to extract it, they will also give you complete information on how the extraction procedure should work. Extraction involves placing a partial denture, bridge, or implant in place of the damaged tooth.

What can be done if a Root Canal Fails?

In rare cases, even after a root canal therapy is done, it can fail – in weeks, months or years. This can happen due to external factors affecting the tooth – injury to the tooth, fractured tooth, chipped tooth, eating food that is hard to bite, and more. In such cases, the infection can still spread around the teeth. Treatment options in the case of a failed root canal include redoing the root canal or an apicoectomy.

Redoing the root canal procedure involves repeating all the steps of performing a root canal. In addition to it, also involves removing the previous root canal filling. It also involves placing a new crown. Redoing a root canal can sometimes be tricky and hence we recommend you take an opinion from the best endodontist. At Dental Solutions, we have professionally conducted RCTs on patients and have had a great success rate. 

Redoing may or may not be successful. If redoing is required many patients opt for placing a dental implant rather than retreating a root canal in order to avoid an unsuccessful treatment.

The other option for treating a failed root canal is a procedure called an apicoectomy. An apicoectomy is also known as root end surgery. It involves the removal of a tooth's root tip and surrounding tissue and the infection from the root tip area is removed. A filling is then placed on the tip of the root in order to seal the bacteria spread inside the tooth and restrict it from reaching into the bone. An apicoectomy is more invasive than a typical root canal surgery. 

Talk to your dentist or endodontist before you start your first root canal treatment. 

Cost of Root Canal Therapy in Bangalore, India

The cost of Root Canal Treatment in Bangalore ranges from INR 4,000 to INR 10,000. The cost can vary depending on multiple factors such as additional diagnostics recommended, condition of the patient, complexity of the case, and the method of treatment (Traditional or Laser-Assisted Dental therapy).

Get a cost estimate for Root Canal Treatment in Bangalore – 


Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canal Therapy

What are the benefits of having a root canal as opposed to a simple extraction?

A root canal treatment aims to save the damaged tooth while an extraction removes it completely. While having the tooth extracted may seem like the simpler choice, it can actually lead to complications in the long run. When a tooth is missing, the adjacent teeth to it may shift their places to fill the newly-empty spot. If the surrounding teeth shift, it may lead to crooked teeth or a bad bite, and it can increase the patient's risk of developing problems in the temporomandibular joint, which can lead to difficulty in biting and chewing. Teeth that have shifted from their original positions may become loose more easily, and they tend to be more susceptible to dental problems.

Are root canals linked to cancer?

The idea that root canals cause cancer is scientifically incorrect. People who undergo root canal therapy are no more or less likely to become ill than any other person. There is virtually no evidence connecting root canal treatment and other diseases.

What type of dentist performs root canals?

Root canal therapy can be provided by an endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who has specialized training to perform root canals. Your dentist is the best person to advise you as to who should perform the procedure. Many dentists provide root canal treatment in their offices and refer complicated cases to endodontists.

Can I drink coffee after root canal treatment?

It is better to not consume any hot drinks like coffee, tea, and soups after the treatment. Eating extremely hot food and drinks can cause sensitivity.

Can we go for a root canal with high ?

Yes, root canal treatment can be done in diabetic patients, though precautions are necessary. Make sure you inform your endodontist about your health history so that he can plan the treatment accordingly. As much as possible, get your blood sugar levels under control, take the prescribed medications and ensure to eat normally before the procedure.

Is it ok to delay root canal treatment?

It's difficult to estimate how long one can go without a root canal. If the pain is severe, you need to do RCT right away. Leaving the infected area untreated can cause major damage, eventually leading to tooth loss.

What can I do instead of a root canal?

Extraction is an alternative to root canal therapy, by replacing it with a bridge, dental implant, or partial denture. However, extraction doesn't compare with the advantages of saving the natural tooth. 

What is the success rate of root canal therapy?

The success rate for Root canal therapy is more than 95%. Root canal treatment is generally safe and effective. However, like any other procedure or treatment, RCT can fail, though this is highly unlikely. The failure can be due to various reasons like fractured teeth, chipped tooth and more

Can I eat chocolate after a root canal treatment?

It is advisable to avoid sticky foods like chocolates and candies after the treatment. It can pull out the temporary filling and damage the tooth.

How long does it take to recover after root canal therapy?

Most patients recover from their root canal after a few days. In rare cases, some patients experience complications and may take a week or even two to recover.

Aftercare for Root Canal Therapy 

It is critically important to continue maintaining good . Brush twice daily, floss once a day, and use antiseptic mouthwash regularly to maintain the health of your teeth.

Do not miss out on the follow-up treatment with your dentists. 

A good oral hygiene routine will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums for years into the future.

Dental Solutions Bangalore has been treating its patients for Root Canals for over a decade and is proud to be one of the best dental clinics in Bangalore offering Laser assisted root canal treatment. For all your root canal related queries, reach out to us.


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