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Root Canal Treatment (RCT) is a sequence of treatment/ removal of the pulp of the tooth which is present in the central part of the tooth, in order to eliminate infection.
The pulp is inhabited by nerve tissue,blood vessels and other cells. Pulp can get damaged by untreated tooth decay, decay under an existing filling, trauma, grinding/clenching and gum disease and this can lead to spontaneous pain, pain when biting down or chewing food, swelling of gum and  pus oozing from around the affected tooth and facial swelling.
Sometimes, pulp can become damaged without presenting symptoms and in these cases, radiographs and other tests will be required to make a diagonosis.
RCT or endodontic therapy involves removal of these structures, shaping and cleaning and decontaminating of the pulp chambers with small files and irrigating solutions and finally sealing these chambers.
The number of visits/stages and costs of RCT will depend on the tooth being treated and your dentist will discuss all associated risks before commencing treatment.