Root Canal Treatment
What is it?
During a root canal treatment, the dentist removes the pulp inside the tooth, disinfects and shapes the root canals, and places a filling to seal the space.
When to use it?
A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth when it is badly decayed and when the pulp becomes infected. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the teeth can become infected and painful abscesses may form.
Key information regarding Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is the last resort before a tooth is lost or extracted.
Often a root treated tooth requires a large composite or amalgam restoration, or a porcelain crown.
Sometimes your dentist may recommend extraction and implant replacement as an alternative.
A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it then filling and sealing it.
The common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, trauma or repeated dental treatment to the tooth. The term root canal comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth’s root.
Many people worry that a root canal will be painful, which is something that was true in the past. Today, with advanced anaesthesia options and surgical techniques, a root canal is as comfortable as getting a filling.
An infected tooth (pre-root canal) is usually what causes tooth pain, and a root canal is the solution to this problem. In fact, infected tooth pulp can cause a tooth abscess and can destroy the bone surrounding the tooth.
A treated and restored tooth can last a lifetime with proper care. Root canals have a high success rate and are significantly less expensive than the alternative tooth extraction and replacement with a bridge or implant.
Tooth decay can still occur in treated teeth so good oral hygiene and regular dental exams are still necessary to prevent further problems. To determine the success or failure of root canal treatment, dentists typically compare new X-rays with those taken before treatment. This comparison will show whether bone loss continues or if the bone is being regenerated.
Sometimes root canals are not successful because an infection develops inside the tooth, or the original infection was not fully removed. In these cases, an apicoectomy – a procedure where the infection and the root tip are removed and a filling placed – is done. Other times a second root canal is recommended.