Root Canal Treatment
Earlier, a badly infected tooth, or one that just had significant decay, was doomed to be extracted. Today, the majority of these teeth can be salvaged by the Root Canal Treatment.
Root Canal treatment is a treatment for a tooth that has abscessed or become infected, which means a pus-filled sac has formed at the root of a tooth. When is Root Canal used? This treatment is the most commonly accepted therapy for an abscessed tooth. This procedure cleans out dead or dying nerve tissue and infection if any, from the inside of a tooth. This tooth then can remain in the mouth.
Some indications of the need for root canal treatment may be:
- Spontaneous pain or throbbing while biting
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods
- Severe decay or an injury that creates an abscess (infection) in the bone
What happens during the procedure?
During a root canal treatment, the dentist removes bacteria and dead tissue from inside the canals of each root. If the tooth is not dead, your dentist will give you local anesthesia. The dentist then makes a small opening in the top of the tooth and uses small files to clean out the debris and bacteria from the tiny canals. Often, your dentist will place a medicated cotton pellet in the pulp chamber to help kill any remaining bacteria. The dentist may use a soft temporary filling to seal the cleaned canals.
What happens after the procedure?
At another appointment, your dentist will seal each canal with a filling material and place a permanent filling on the chewing surface of the tooth. Most often, the dentist will recommend a crown to protect the tooth from breaking, since a tooth treated with root canal therapy is no longer vital, is more brittle and could break more easily. Your dentist may recommend a follow up x-ray of the tooth in six months to help evaluate how well the bone is healing and to see if the infection has cleared up.
What are the benefits of the procedure?
The effectiveness of a root canal treatment is that the tooth will probably last a life time. Thus you could have your complete set of teeth for a longer time.
What are risks and complications with this procedure?
Occasionally, an abscess persists, even after root canal therapy has been performed. Your dentist may refer you to a specialist who may perform a surgical procedure to remove the diseased tissue from the tip of the root and reseal it with another filling.