Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is treatment used to repair and save a tooth that has been infected due to a deep cavity or cracked tooth. The treatment involves removing the infected pulp and nerves of the tooth, cleaning and putting medication in the infected area. If the treatment is not performed, puss builds up at the root tip and the infection of the pulp can spread to the surrounding bone. The build up of puss causes pain and swelling, if the root canal is not performed, your tooth will likely have to be extracted.
What are the signs that a root canal is needed?
- Severe tooth pain while chewing
- Your tooth pain wakes you up at night
- Teeth that are highly sensitive to hot or cold, with the sensitivity lingering for some time.
- Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
- Swollen gums in the area of the infected tooth
What does the treatment involve?
First, an opening is made into the pulp chamber through the crown of the tooth. Once the pulp is removed, the root canal is thoroughly cleaned. If the dentist decides to complete the root canal therapy in multiple visits, a temporary filling will be placed to protect the tooth. When you return, the dentist will remove the temporary filling, re-clean the root canal and pulp chamber. The root chambers will then be filled with a special material. The tooth itself will then require an additional procedure to protect the tooth. In most cases a crown will then be needed to protect the tooth, sometimes the placement of a permanent filling is all that is needed
Root canal therapy has a high rate of success and many teeth undergoing the procedure and the subsequent crown or filling can be saved to last a lifetime.