What does root canal treatment (RCT) involve?
Root canal treatment is an endodontic procedure that is carried out when the soft pulp tissue (comprising nerves and blood vessels) becomes infected or dies. This infection may lead to inflammation or an abscess in the surrounding jawbone. Acute inflammation can result in pain and swelling at the end of the tooth root, but many abscessed teeth remain pain-free and reveal no symptoms unless they flare up.
The Endodontist will gently remove the diseased pulp tissue and infection from the root canals, which will then be carefully cleaned and shaped prior to being sealed to prevent re-infection.
Endodontic procedures are usually carried out using local anaesthetic, which is very effective and safe. We will always make sure you are comfortable during treatment and that the tooth is completely numb.
Endodontic treatment can be time-consuming, but is normally completed over one or two visits. For the first few days after treatment, there may be some sensitivity to biting pressure, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. Sometimes anti-inflammatory medications are recommended for a day or two.
Once your root filling is finished and a temporary filling placed, you will return to your general dentist. A crown or other restoration may be required on the tooth to protect it from fracture and restore it to full function. The tooth may be reviewed a few months after treatment to monitor healing of the inflamed tissues in the jaw bone.