Root Canal Therapy
Our teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, sometimes, damage occurs to a tooth (often from a deep cavity or an injury that causes a tooth to crack) and the inside of the tooth becomes infected. This infection damages the pulp of the tooth – the network of blood vessels and nerves inside.
Left untreated, the damaged pulp can cause infection that will damage the bone around the tooth and cause swelling and pain. If the damaged tooth becomes infected, your dentist, or a dental specialist called an Endodontist, may have to perform an endodontic treatment (often called Root Canal Therapy) to save it.
Root canal therapy is one of the most effective procedures for retaining teeth that have been compromised by severe decay or structural problem affecting the pulp tissues. Bacteria spread to the nerve of the tooth causing an infection in the tooth. Root canal therapy consists of cleaning out the infected nerve tissue, disinfecting the canals and sealing them against re-infection.
Root canal treatment may be done in 1 or 2 appointments. After root canal treatment, your tooth may be tender for the first week or two. Extreme pain or swelling are NOT common. If this happens, call your dentist or Endodontist.
It is important to protect the tooth after root canal therapy by placing a crown on top of the tooth to prevent the tooth from cracking. Root canal therapy makes the tooth more brittle and fragile so placing a crown on the tooth will help preserve the longevity of the tooth.
You can still get a cavity or gum disease after a root canal treatment. Root canal treatment does not protect your tooth from other types of damage. With proper care and regular dental visits, the tooth could last as long as your other teeth. Most of the time, a tooth that has had a root canal treatment can be saved. However, there are cases where everything possible has been done to save a tooth and still the tooth must be extracted (pulled).