When the nerve of a tooth becomes infected or abscessed,Root Canal Therapy is the only way to save the tooth. A tooth can become abscessed as a result of deep decay, a cracked tooth, or trauma to the tooth. The only alternative to Root Canal Therapy is an Extraction.
During Root Canal Therapy, the tooth is "numbed" (just like having a filling). Then the unhealthy nerve is removed and medication is placed in the tooth to treat the bacterial abscess (infection). After the infection is removed and treated, a filling is placed in the roots where the unhealthy nerve was.
A tooth that has undergone Root Canal Therapy is more brittle and must be crowned to give the tooth sufficient strength. The tooth is cared for in the same way as other natural teeth. Brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist for regular preventative dental check-ups.
What Happens During Root Canal Therapy?
Step one: After the tooth is "numbed", a small opening is made into the pulp chamber. The canals are located and measured, so they can be cleansed and shaped.
Step two: The canals are filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha and the opening is sealed with sterile cotton pellets and a temporary filling.
Step three:The tooth is typically restored within a couple of weeks. A crown is placed over the treated tooth in order to protect it, and if the tooth lacks sufficient tooth structure to hold the core build-up, a post may be placed inside. Any areas of infection around the roots will begin to heal.
The number of visits necessary to complete a root canal will vary depending upon the degree of infection, the number of canals in the tooth, if the canals are calcified, the anatomy of your tooth, and the complexity of the procedure. We always strive to achieve the best possible result; therefore, your treatment may take one visit, or it may take more.