If your dentist has diagnosed that you need Root Canal  Treatment, it can be because of various reasons or conditon of the tooth involved. Most commonly in the cases of tooth being badly decayed / infected and the pulp is exposed. These reasons are discussed as under:

Severe Gum Disease 

 Injury: Root canal of a tooth is sometimes required due to injury to tooth. It is done in following circumstances:

During a dental procedure involving excavation of deep caries, or accidental exposure during tooth preparation procedure etc. It is better to treat such a tooth with root canal treatment to avoid problems in the future.

Due to an accident which may infect the pulp. The nerve tissue of the tooth that has undergone the trauma might seem to be perfectly fine but actually it might have started or will start to degenerate mostly, even without any symptoms. The painless tooth with degenerated nerve tissue will usually appear darker than the neighboring teeth.

Both these cases injury needs to be treated with root canal treatment.

Intentional Root Canal Treatment: It is done in cases where it is unavoidable to precede with the dental treatment of other teeth without involving other teeth like in case of a bridge a carious tooth if needed to be used as a support needs to undergo root canal treatment. Several fillings placed on the same tooth again and again over a period of time might also damage the pulp.


Gum diseases can lead to pulling away of the gums from the teeth creating a space known as the periodontal pocket. This pocket traps bacteria that can infect the pulp. Lesions in which both gum disease and dental nerve tissue infection co-exist are referred as endo-perio lesions in clinical terms. It can be that a pulp infection gives rise to gum disease or vice-versa as well. Treating with root canal treatment helps to improve health of both the tissues

Root canal treatment is done mainly in cases involving pulp injury but at times it can be done intentionally also like in cases of a fixed partial denture where a missing tooth has to be replaced by involving the neighboring teeth intentional root canal is done on those neighboring teeth which might turn into root canal cases later on so to avoid trouble then they are treated beforehand only. The various causes are-

Untreated Tooth Decay: The enamel acts as an armor protecting the sensitive dentin underneath and pulp beneath and if the infection continues due to untreated or unnoticed dental decay it will reach the pulp tissue and infect it.  

The nerve tissue becomes infected and then inflamed and is therefore highly sensitive and painful even when no immediate stimulus is present. Root canal stops the infection from spreading further.

Leave Comment


  • Dr.Ritz

    Dr.Ritz 12 - July - 2012, at 22:47 PM

  • Janice sometimes the decay or infection is very close to the pulp but it has not infected the pulp yet so dentist usually apply a base and give tenporary filling on that and leave it for 15 days to see if healing can occur without RCT and if positive results are there then they proceed with permanent filling without RCT.So give sometime to ur dentist to decide on whether to do RCT or not.

  • miss tan

    miss tan 12 - July - 2012, at 02:29 AM

  • hi doctor , i went to govermnent dental clinic yesterday . the doctor carry out x-ray for my second molar tooth which located at bottom.he told me it already youch my "root "..but he didn't arrange me for rct .he take out my old filling and he told me he put medicine inside and closed it with temporary filling and asked me back for review after one week..may i know if the root is infected ,possible rct is not needed?

  • Dr.Ritz

    Dr.Ritz 08 - June - 2012, at 22:08 PM

  • ANAND D MEHTA, various conditions in which RCT is must include: 1. when the pulp is severly damaged or inflammed which can't be reversed. 2. non vital/ dead pulp 3. when the tooth in exposed 4. Any injury affecting the pulp Once the tooth is exposed than it cant be escaped and one has to undergo a RCT... Not all dentist will advise you RCT...it will be advised only if there is no option left...

  • Anand D Mehta

    Anand D Mehta 08 - June - 2012, at 01:58 AM

  • under what circumstances rct is must/required ? Can it be escape ? why all dentist insists patient to go for rct ? Is it a Monetary Gain ???? kindly reeply doing needful to me - Anand D Mehta, Ahmedabad, INDIA

Free Dental Consultation