Root Canal Treatment (RCT)
Root Canal Treatment/Therapy (Also called Endodontics) is needed when the nerve or blood supply of a tooth (known as the pulp) is infected as a result of tooth decay or injury. If the pulp becomes infected, the infection may spread throughout the root canal system of the tooth. This eventually leads to formation of an abscess. If root canal treatment (RCT) is not carried out, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out (extracted).
The aim of the treatment is to remove all infection from the root canal. The root is then cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection. During treatment a local anesthetic is used and it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done. However, after the procedure post-operative discomfort should be expected in some cases. Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure.
A course of treatment will involve at least one long visit for the surgery. At this appointment the infected pulp is removed. Any abscesses (which may be present) can be drained at this time. Antibiotic therapy may also be indicated. The root canal is then cleaned and shaped ready for the filling. (A temporary filling is sometimes put into the tooth to allow it to settle).
When all the infection has been cleared, the tooth is then filled permanently.