General Dental Services - Root Canal Treatments

Root canal therapy (RCT) is a procedure that is done when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the inside of the tooth (pulp chamber) needs to be cleaned out removing nerves, bacteria and any decay. The resulting space is then filled with a special medicated material, and then a filling is placed on the opening of the canal, restoring the tooth to its full function.

Having a RCT done is the best way to save a tooth that would otherwise die and have to be removed. It is a misconception that many patients believe that removing a problematic tooth is the solution. What is not taken into consideration, are the other problems that may arise. Removing a tooth will ultimately end up more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent and opposing teeth due to shifting and over eruption. Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections.

You might need a RCT if you have:
An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
A severe toothache pain.
Any swelling and/or tenderness.
Decay that has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
An infection or abscess has developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
Injury or trauma to the tooth.

What happens when I get an RCT?
During a RCT procedure, an opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of small files are placed into the opening removing the pulp, nerve tissue, bacteria, and decay. Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be filled with a special dental material. Then finally sealed with a permanent filling.

Sometimes 2 appointments may be needed. In the first appointment the canal may be filled and a temporary filling will be placed. At the next appointment, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental material.
After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has a chance to heal.


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