Root Canal therapy involves saving an infected tooth from having to be removed. Root Canal therapy conserves a tooth that has been damaged by decay, fracture or an abscess. The tooth can then be restored without the need for an extraction. Root canal treatment is proven to be highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections.
Reasons for root canal therapy:
Severe decay that has reached the tooth pulp i.e. the living tissue inside the tooth
Abscess or an infection that has developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
Fractured injury or trauma caused to the tooth
What does root canal therapy involve?
A Root Canal therapy may require two appointments. During the first appointment, the infected tooth is made numb, a rubber dam will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva. An access opening is made on 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 placed.
At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials. A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed. This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.
After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed. You will be given care instructions after each appointment.