Root Canal Treatment (Endodontics)
Undergoing a Root Canal Treatment may seem daunting because of the pain you might be expecting. At Floss Dental, our specialists handle RCTs every day and ensure that the procedure is relatively painless and that you get back to eating and working with ease.
What is a Root Canal Treatment?
Inside our teeth there is a soft tissue called pulp that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that help grow the root of the teeth during development. When this pulp is damaged, it breaks down and infectious bacteria begin to spread within the pulp chamber, often causing an infection or abscessed tooth. Root Canal Treatment, also known as Endodontic Treatment is necessary to treat diseased or abscessed teeth.
Do I need a Root Canal Treatment?
Your dentist will be able to advice you if you need to undergo a RCT after a general check-up. Generally, most patients need a root canal when they notice their teeth are sensitive to hot and cold sensations. Other symptoms that indicate that you might need a RCT include:
· Swollen gums
· Chipped or cracked tooth
· Severe pain while chewing
· Decaying or darkening gums
A root canal becomes necessary when a tooth is too infected to save, but can be preserved. The reason for keeping a dead tooth is because one can still benefit from the structure of the tooth for chewing food and speaking.
What is the procedure for a RCT?
Your endodontist will first examine and take X-Rays to determine the extent of decay and infection. After proper examination, you dentist will administer local anesthetic to numb the tooth in order to minimize any pain you might feel during the treatment.
The endodontist will then proceed to make an opening in the crown of the tooth, and clean the pulp chamber and root canals to shape the space for filling. After the space is thoroughly cleaned and shaped, your dentist will fill the root canals with a rubber-like filling material called gutta-percha. In the final step, your dentist will place a crown on the tooth to protect and restore it to its original function.
What will be the duration of my treatment?
The duration of a RCT depends largely on the type of tooth and the extent of decay. However, you can expect it to last for roughly 45-60 minutes per tooth. Most anterior teeth can be completed in less than a hour, while premolars and molars can take longer to complete.
What can I expect after my Root Canal Treatment?
For the first few days after your RCT you may experience sensitivity, swelling, or inflammation, especially if there was infection before prior to the procedure. However, your dentist will prescribe the necessary medication to reduce your discomfort.
Until your RCT is completely finished with a filling and/or crown in place, it is also advisable to minimize chewing on the tooth under treatment to prevent further damage. It is advised to have the crown cemented as soon as possible because of the fragility of a root canal treated tooth. Maintaining good oral hygiene is recommended (brushing and flossing), however one has to be extra careful around the treated area. It is also common that one has no pain after a root canal treatment, but still treat the tooth with care.
What are the problems one can face after a Root Canal?
· While it is uncommon to feel soreness after a root canal, it’s still possible. The infection in certain cases is advanced that it may have affected the surrounding jaw bone. In such cases, soreness or tenderness may occur.
· Sometimes there is more than one tooth causing pain, and consequently you may need a second root canal procedure.
· If the treated area is not properly cared for after your procedure, the inner seal of your crown can erode.