Root Canal Therapy
A Root Canal is usually performed when the nerve within a tooth becomes infected and/or damaged
Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, dental materials, which restore the
tooth to its full function.
Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would have to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems to the surrounding teeth.
Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:
- An Abscess (or pimple) on the gum
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Severe toothache pain
- Swelling and/or tenderness
- Sometimes no symptoms are present and an abscess is caught on a x-ray
Reasons for root canal therapy:
- Decay has reached the tooth pulp
- Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
- Injury or trauma to the tooth
What does root canal therapy involve?
While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam ( sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva. An access opening is made on the top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and
bacteria. If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments. Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be replaced.
In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.