If you have an infection inside of your tooth or when decay has impacted the pulp, you may need to consider root canal therapy. Without treatment, you may experience extreme pain and inflammation in the tooth and surrounding gums. The alternative to root canal therapy, also called RCT, is an extraction, which can mean more concerns than most patients think. If you are visiting a dentist in Downtown Chicago for RCT, here are some things to know.
RCT vs. extraction
If you are thinking that removing an infected tooth is the best way to address the pain, you are mistaken. As soon as the tooth is extracted, other adjacent teeth will start moving from their respective positions. There will be a rapid reduction in bone mass too. Also, even with the best restorative procedures, nothing can replace the comfort of your natural tooth. As such, dentists try everything possible to prevent an extraction. With root canal treatment, you have the option of retaining your tooth.
How successful is root canal therapy?
Done by an experienced restorative dentist or an endodontist, root canal therapy is highly successful, and the results can last a lifetime. In rare cases, root canal retreatment is necessary following a new infection.
How many appointments are required?
Your dentist can complete the RCT procedure in just one appointment. However, this can take considerable time, which is why it is common to do root canal treatment in two to three visits. You will also need a crown for the treated tooth to add strength and function, which can take two additional appointments.
How to know if there is a need for root canal therapy?
You may have symptoms like a toothache, infection in surrounding gums, or an abscess. Your dentist will check for the signs of infection and order X-rays to determine whether decay has impacted the pulp. In many cases, patients may not have any symptoms of decay.
Your dentist will use local anesthesia for root canal therapy. During the first visit, they will drill an access opening after the tooth is numb and use dental files to clean and remove the pulp, tissues, and decay. They will clean the tooth from the inside using antibiotic products and seal it with a permanent sealing. You will need a crown made in a dental lab, which can take up to two weeks.
Talk to your dentist about root canal therapy before you decide to proceed.