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What is Root Canal Therapy (RCT)?

Once it is discovered that a tooth has been badly damaged due to decay, disease or injury, it is often thought that the next best thing to do is to pull it out. However, having your own natural tooth can be more beneficial than having an artificial tooth or none at all. Your own tooth is us usually stronger and more efficient for biting and chewing. Cleaning and maintenance of a natural tooth are much easier. However good an artificial tooth can be, it will never be more than just a substitute for a real tooth.

Root canal therapy is a procedure that may help save the damaged tooth by removing the inflamed or dead pulp from inside the tooth before the infection spreads and therefore retain your tooth. After removing the pulp, the root canals are cleaned, disinfected and shaped into form so that your tooth can be filled. The root canal must be infection free from bacteria before it is filled and sealed, usually with a rubber-based material called gutta-percha. This is used to prevent further infection. In many cases, a crown is fitted over the tooth to secure the treatment and give a more natural appearance.


How do I know I need Root Canal Therapy?

The symptoms of a tooth pulp that is infected due to decay or disease may include:

  • Prolonged oversensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks

  • Pain in the tooth when biting or chewing

  • Facial swelling

  • Oozing of pus surrounding the affected tooth

  • Swelling of the gum near the affected tooth

Some of the symptoms may resemble other dental health conditions and other times you may not feel the symptoms at all in your damaged tooth. Therefore, it is best to have dental check-ups regularly; all deep fillings need to be monitored for pulp vitality.