Root Canal Therapy
Inside each tooth lies a slender strand of 'pulp', which contains nerves and blood vessels that provide nutrients to the tooth —that extends down to the tooth’s root. If the pulp becomes infected or injured, the tooth’s nerves die and, often, without endodontic treatment, the tooth dies as well. When a tooth’s pulp becomes irreversibly inflamed/infected, endodontic treatment, a root canal, is needed to prevent the infection from spreading into the tissues of the face. If this happens there will sometimes be facial or gum swelling and pain.
Having a root canal preserves the tooth by removing the infection within the tooth and filling the space with a plastic filling material. The only other option would be to have the tooth extracted.
The procedure is relatively simple. The tooth is numbed (with anesthetic), a small opening is made through the biting surface of the tooth to access the infected material and relieve the pressure caused by the infection. The infected material is then removed and the pulp chamber is sealed. Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple one visit procedure with little or no discomfort. The length of procedure varies depending on the number of roots and canals the particular tooth has.
The treated tooth is then non-vital, which means it is more fragile/brittle than a healthy tooth and a crown/cap is generally recommended to prevent it from fracturing.
Please contact our office for more information on root canal therapy if you have any questions.