ROOT CANAL TREATMENT (RCT) FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Why would I need an RCT?
A. When the nerve(s) of a tooth becomes irreversibly damaged because of caries, trauma, crack through the pulp chamber or because of infection, an RCT is recommended.
Q. How can the dentist tell when I need an RCT?
A. By examining carefully the tooth in the mouth and by means of XRays, pulp testing and/or hot and cold testing. Usually spontaneous pain at night or extreme sensitivity with cold and hot drink indicates an RCT.
Q. What will the dentist do during a Root Canal Treatment?
A. The dentist will clean out the infected pulp tissue inside the pulp chamber and the root(s) of the tooth and fills them with a special kind of filling material.
Q. Will it be painful?
A. Not during the prodedure because the tooth will be numb. After that, the tooth may be sore or even painful for a couple of days and sometimes longer depending how was the tooth before the treatment, how difficult was the case and also depending of each individual. In our experience, about 50% will feel fine with no symptom at all, the rest may experience some discomfort more or less in about a week. A painkiller will help greatly and sometimes if there is sign of infection, an antibiotic may be prescribed.
Q. How long will it take to do a Root Canal Treatment?
A. Depending on each case, and of course of the skill of the dentist, it may take from 1/2 hour to 1 hour for each visit. A typical case needs from 1 to 2 visits to complete. Sometimes for infected tooth, it can take more than 2 visits.
Q. Will the tooth need more work to do after an RCT?
A. After an RCT, the tooth will become brittle. Besides, the dentist has to drill pretty extensively into the tooth in order to clean up the pulp tissue. Therefore, a more permanent restoration is required. Usually a crown is recommended.