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What is Root Canal Therapy (RCT)?

March 19, 2021

Endodontic Treatment

We offer the following endodontic treatment; root canal therapy and retreatment of some previously treated root canals. In spite of what your family and friends may tell you endodontic treatment has come a very long way of the past years and now like a normal, routine filling appointment.

Root canal therapy is treatment for the pulp of your tooth once bacteria have reached the pulp causing it to become infected. Root canal therapy helps preserve your tooth as long as possible so that you do not have to have it removed. Often after having treatment your dentist will strongly recommend that you have a crown placed on the tooth.

What to expect during your appointment?

During your root canal appointment the dentist will start by giving you local anesthetic so that you will not feel any discomfort throughout the procedure. After the anesthetic has taken effect, your dentist will began by removing decay and making an access to the pulp chamber of the tooth. Once this opening has been made he/she will began to remove the unhealthy pulp and infection from the tooth by using different size and length files; the files will allow your dentist to shape the canals so that they can properly fill it later in the appointment. Before filling the canals the dentist will irrigate the canals to remove any debris that may have not came out with the files. After irrigating, the assistant will dry out the tooth so the sealer can adhere to the canal within the tooth for a proper seal so that bacteria and infection may not return. The canals are filled with a rubbery material called gutta percha.

Once the tooth has been properly filled and the access to the pulp has been built back up, the crown process for the tooth will start. Sometimes the dentist may wait a few weeks before starting the crown (this is decided case by case).

What is an Endodontic retreat and why do I need this?

Non- surgical retreats are much like your typical root canal appointment. The dentist starts by gaining access to the roots or the tooth again so that he/she may remove your dental crown or in some cases drill through the crown itself. Once the access has been made and the dentist can reach the canals again they will began using files to remove the currently places gutta percha and clean and reshape the canals. Once the canals have been cleaned your dentist will place new gutta percha within the tooth and began to fill the tooth once again.

Why would I need to have my tooth retreated?

  1. If you are not properly brushing and floss new decay can form on the tooth and can leak beneath the crown or composite and into the canals of the treated tooth.
  2. Sometimes the canals are not completely and properly cleaned out. If a tooth has roots that are curved it can prove difficult to clean thoroughly.
  3. You crown my break, crack or come off allowing bacteria into the canal space.
  4. The canals were not properly dried making the canals contaminated and the gutta percha to not seal correctly.

If you have any questions about root canal treatment or if you believe you may need a root canal, please call our office as soon as possible to speak with one of our Belmont NC dentists.

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