Why do I need a RCT?

Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The common causes include deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury /trauma to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.

How is it performed?

Endodontic treatment can often be performed in one or two visits and involves the following steps:

Local anesthetic is administered before the procedure. After the tooth is numb, a small protective sheet called a “dental dam” is placed over the mouth to isolate the tooth that needs treatment to prevent any salivary contamination during the procedure. If you predominantly breathe though your mouth, we can make modifications in the dental dam to make is easier for you.

A small opening is then made in the crown of the tooth to obtain an access to the root canal system. Very small instruments are used to remove the inflamed/infected pulp from the canals and to shape the space to receive the root canal filling. Different types of disinfecting & antibacterial agents are used to aid in disinfecting the canal space.

After the space is cleaned and shaped, it is then filled with a biocompatible material called “gutta-percha.” In
most cases, a temporary filling is placed to close the access opening. The temporary filling will be removed by your dentist before restoring the tooth with a permanent restoration.

After the treatment, you must return to your dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.

If the tooth lacks sufficient structure to hold the restoration in place, it may need a post inside the tooth. Ask your dentist or us for more details about the specific restoration planned for your tooth.

* Pictures reproduced with permission from the American Association of Endodontists