Root canal treatment
Root canal treatment (RCT) is typically performed when bacteria has made its way into our blood vessels and nerves in the spaces called the chamber and canals. This usually occurs when a cavity has grown large and extends into the chamber and canals. This may also occur from a cavity under an old crown or old filling, a crack in the tooth, or bacteria from gum disease that has spread and infected the nerves and vessels from the bottom of the tooth. RCT may also be necessary after trauma, after a deep filling that has irritated the nerves, or for other various treatment reasons.
The treatment itself involves removing the infected tissues in the chamber and canals, shaping these spaces so a nice inert filling material can be placed into it, and then filling and/or capping the tooth (your dentist will not start treatment until you are completely numb!). This is harder than it sounds with some canals twisting and turning, some calcifying too thin for our instruments, and some just near impossible to find. In these cases, your dentist may refer you to a specialist (endodontist) and their huge microscopes!