Root Canal Therapy
Saving natural teeth with root canal therapy
When a tooth is so diseased that it is actually dying, without root canal therapy, it would have to be extracted and replaced with an artificial tooth. Root canal therapy can remove dead tissue and replace it with material that allows the tooth to live again. A virtually dead tooth can be saved with root canal therapy and last for the rest of your life.
The proper term for root canal therapy is endodontic treatment. Endodontic means “inside tooth.” Before a root canal treatment, you will be given a local anesthetic and our dentist will ensure that the area to be treated is completely numb before beginning the procedure. The procedure involves cleaning out the inside of the tooth; removing dead and diseased tissue from inside of it. When all of this is removed, the root canals are cleaned and disinfected. The canals are then filled sealed to prevent them from being infected again.
The hole that was made in your tooth to allow access to the root canals will be filled. You may need a dental crown to restore the lost surface of the tooth. This is usually the case with a back tooth, but sometimes front teeth do not need a crown after a root canal. Before going home after your root canal, you may be prescribed an antibiotic to help control infection.
After root canal therapy, the repaired tooth can last a lifetime. The longevity of the newly repaired tooth will depend on several factors, including how quickly the root canal treatment was performed after the problem began. When infected root canals are left untreated, the infection can spread to the bone. The effects of root canal therapy may not last as long if there is infection in the bone, so root canal therapy should be performed as soon as possible when it is recommended. The filling or crown placed after root canal may have to be done at a second visit, but this should be done as soon as possible to strengthen the tooth and prevent cracking or breaking.