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 pulp and the nerves of the tooth and cleaning the infected area. A tooth’s pulp and nerve is not important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has fully emerged from the gums. If the treatment is not performed, pus builds up at the root tip and the infection of the pulp can spread to the surrounding bone. The result is pain and swelling and your tooth would likely need to be removed.
Symptoms That May Indicate It’s Time for Root Canal Therapy:
- An abscess on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Severe tooth pain
- Swelling or tenderness
Reasons for Root Canal Therapy:
- Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth)
- Infection or abscess has developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
- Injury or trauma to the tooth
While the tooth is numb, 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 placed. This will protect the tooth, prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.
You will be given care instructions after each appointment. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.
If you would like to learn more about root canal therapy, simply call Lake Dental. We are happy to answer any question you may have.