Root Canal Treatment (also called Endodontics) is carried out when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth (known as the pulp) is infected through decay or injury. If the infected pulp is left, an abscess can result.
If root canal treatment (RCT) is not carried out, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be extracted. The aim of RCT is to remove all infection from the root canal.
The root is then cleaned thoroughly, sometimes over several appointments if necessary depending on the extent of the symptoms and infection, and filled to prevent any further infection. RCT is a skilled and time consuming procedure. Most courses of treatment will involve two or more visits to the dentist.
At the first appointment, the infected pulp is removed. Any abscesses, which may be present, can also be drained at this time. The root canal is then cleaned and shaped ready for filling. A temporary filling is placed in and the tooth is left to settle.
The tooth is checked at a later visit and when all the infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled.Teeth that have been saved with root canal therapy will need crown coverage over them to stop them splitting and to improve their appearance.
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