Root canal therapy retains a bad reputation as a difficult and uncomfortable procedure, but in reality, it is similar in many ways to having a tooth filled. It can also be the only way to save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
The root canal is the name for the space inside the tooth where the tooth pulp and the nerve are found. When these nerve-rich, sensitive tissues become inflamed or infected, root canal therapy may be necessary in order to keep the tooth. To perform this treatment, your dentist or periodontist uses special tools to remove the infected tissue from the tooth interior. The cavity is then sterilized and filled with a special gel. To ensure the tooth remains usable, it is treated with a crown.
Treating a tooth in this way prevents the infection from spreading out of the tooth and into adjacent areas. An untreated infection in the tooth can spread into the jaw or facial bones. It can even move into the sinus cavities and, in very serious situations, can affect the brain. With proper treatment, the infection can be eliminated, protecting you from serious side effects.
Why Is Root Canal Therapy Necessary?
A root canal treatment is necessary to treat infection in the tooth’s interior. This can occur under a variety of circumstances, the most common of which are:
- Severe decay
- Trauma to the tooth
- Severe tooth damage
This type of treatment can become necessary when a tooth is broken in an accident or fall. It can also be necessary if a tooth that has already been filled or crowned develops additional damage, such as cracks, that lets bacteria into the tooth’s interior. A seriously damaged tooth that might otherwise have to be extracted, can be preserved and will remain usable with root canal therapy. You will be able to bite and chew normally after your tooth has been treated.
Our dentist can discuss your root canal treatment options so call us today to schedule an appointment!