What is a Root Canal Therapy RCT?
Root canal therapy is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected.
When do I need a Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is performed when the pulp which is composed of nerves and blood vessels in the tooth becomes infected or damaged. A tooth’s pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.
Some signs you may need root canal therapy include:
- Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure
- Prolonged sensitivity (pain) to hot or cold temperatures (after the heat or cold has been removed)
- Discoloration (darkening) of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums
- A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
- Sometimes no symptoms are present.
Is a Root Canal Therapy painful?
People fear root canals because they assume they are painful. Actually, most people report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed. The discomfort experienced in the period leading up to seeking dental care is truly painful, not the procedure itself.
What can I expect when doing a Root Canal Therapy?
During root canal therapy, the pulp is removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the center of the tooth and contains the nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissue. The tooth’s nerve is in the “root” or “legs” of the tooth. The root canals travel from the tip of the tooth’s root into the pulp chamber.
What happens if I do not get a Root Canal Therapy done if I need one?
When pulp is damaged, it breaks down, and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other dying pulp remnants can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of a tooth’s root. In addition to an abscess, an infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause:
- Swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head
- Bone loss around the tip of the root
- Drainage problems extending outward from the root. A hole can occur through the side of the tooth, with drainage into the gums or through the cheek into the skin.
What should I expect after a Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy should relieve the pain you feel. Once the root canal procedure is completely finished the tooth needs a permanent filling or a crown. Until a crown or permanent filling is in place, its recommended to minimize chewing on the tooth under repair. This step will help avoid re-contamination of the tooth’s interior and also may prevent a fragile tooth from breaking before the tooth can be fully restored.