Root canal therapy (RCT) is required when the nerve of the tooth is compromised by decay, infection or trauma to the tooth. This is the treatment of choice for saving a tooth that may otherwise need to be extracted due to the nerve being irreversibly compromised.
RCT is a procedure involving cleaning out the pulp/nerve, decay, and bacteria through irrigation and instrumentation. Once the canals are cleaned and free of infection, special filling material (gutta percha) and cement is used to fill up the canals.
RCT is a highly successful treatment option that will usually last a long time. However, root canal treated teeth may occasionally need re-treatments due to newly developed infections and decays.
RCTs may be recommended if you…
– Have an abscess.
– Have sensitivity to hot and cold.
– Have swelling / tenderness.
– Have extreme toothache.
– Have no symptom due to the nerve dying.
– And more.
However, depending on the extent of the decay/infection, the condition of the surrounding bone, and the integrity of the tooth structure, the dentist will either recommend a RCT or an extraction.