Root Canal Treatment
Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with diseases of the tooth’s pulp. The pulp is located in the center of the tooth and in canals (called root canals) within each tooth root. Removing the pulp and packing the root canals is referred to as root canal treatment.
Why Would You Need Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment is needed for two main reasons:
- Infection or
- Irreversible damage to the pulp.
Once the pulp becomes infected, the infection can affect the bone around the tooth, causing an abscess to form.
The goal of root canal treatment is to save the tooth by removing the infected or damaged pulp, treating any infection, and filling the empty canals with an inert material. If root canal treatment is not done, the tooth may have to be extracted.
It is better to save your natural teeth whenever possible. Why ?
- If a tooth is missing, neighboring teeth can drift out of line and can be overstressed.
- Keeping your natural teeth also helps you to avoid more expensive and extensive treatments, such as implants or bridges.
- If an infected or injured tooth that needs root canal treatment is ignored, not only can you lose the tooth, but also the infection can spread to other parts of your body.
The tooth undergoing RCT is weakened, but if the tooth is covered with a crown after the root canal or, in some cases, restored with tooth-colored composite filling material, the tooth can last the rest of your life.
Length of Treatment
Root canal treatment can be done in one or more visits, depending on the situation. An infected tooth will need several appointments to make sure that the infection is eliminated. Some teeth may be more difficult to treat because of the position of the tooth, because they have many and curved root canals that are difficult to locate, or for other reasons. An uncomplicated root canal treatment often can be completed in one visit.
After Root Canal Treatment
Your tooth will be sore for two to three days after the procedure, and your dentist will tell you to avoid chewing on the affected side. The worse the infection and inflammation was prior to root canal treatment, the sorer the tooth will be after treatment. The doctor will prescribe pain relievers to ease the discomfort.