Root Canal Treatment
Root Canal Treatment, Root Canal Therapy, or RCT is one of the most common dental procedures performed. This routine, painless, and cost effective treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for a bridge, bone graft or dental implants.
Located in the center of your tooth is the pulp. The pulp can become inflamed or infected due to decay, fracture, repeated dental procedures, or trauma. Symptoms of infection may be identified as visible discoloration of the tooth, drainage or swelling near the tooth, sensitivity to temperature, or pain in the tooth or gums. If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely refer you for an evaluation for non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. During root canal therapy we gently remove the damaged pulp, clean the root canal system and seal it. Therapy usually involves local anesthesia and is most often completed in only 1 or 2 visits, depending on the treatment required. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. In addition, we will provide nitrous oxide analgesia, if indicated. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you should be comfortable returning to your normal routine.
What Happens After Treatment
After the roots are filled, a soft temporary putty is used to plug the opening in the tooth. A record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You are instructed to make an appointment to see your restorative dentist, usually within a couple of weeks of completion of root canal treatment. Your restorative dentist will decide what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is not uncommon to experience very mild discomfort and inflammation for a while after completion of endodontic treatment. This is usually controlled with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory or analgesic medications. It is rare to experience serious complications after routine procedures. However, if you have any major problems or concerns, we are available at all times to respond.