What do I expect at RCT?
Root canal treatment is usually carried out under local anaesthetic.
An opening will be made through your tooth to access the soft tissue at the centre of the tooth (pulp). The infected pulp is removed,
A series of small files are used to shape the canal so they can be filled. This part of the treatment does take some time and may need to be carried out over a number of visits.
A small amount of medicine are placed in between visits to kill any remaining bacteria. At the next visit, the temporary filling and medicine within the tooth is removed and the root canal filling can be inserted. This, along with a filling, seals the tooth and prevents reinfection.
Root-filled teeth are more likely to break than healthy unrestored teeth, so your dentist may suggest placing a crown on the tooth to protect it.
In some cases a root-filled tooth may darken, particularly if it’s died as a result of injury like a knock to the tooth. There are several ways your dentist can treat discolouration, such as whitening the tooth.
Root canal treatment is usually successful at saving the tooth and clearing the infection.
Around 9 out of 10 root-treated teeth survive for many years.
Having a crown fitted to the tooth after root canal treatment is important for improving tooth survival rates.
If you keep your teeth clean, your treated tooth should survive for a long time.
The survival of your tooth depends on a number of factors, including:
- how much of the natural tooth remains
- how well you keep your teeth clean
- the biting forces on the tooth
But if an infection does return, the root canal treatment can be repeated.
Or if treatment has already been carried out to a high standard and the infection remains, a small operation to remove the root tip (an apicoectomy) may be carried out to treat the infection.