Root Canal Therapy
To repair or save a natural tooth that has experienced infection or injury, many patients turn to the dentist for a procedure called root canal therapy. Also known as endodontic therapy, a root canal is a treatment that is performed to remove the nerves and the dental pulp from within the tooth. It allows us to disinfect the inner canals of the tooth and then seal it off. This eliminates the chance of bacteria entering into the root tip and starting an infection that spreads to the bone surrounding the tooth. Pain and swelling can persist and result in the need for permanent extraction.
Signs that root canal therapy may be necessary include pain while chewing, toothaches that keep you awake at night, discoloration of a natural tooth, swollen gums, and extreme sensitivity to hot and cold temperature changes.
Root canal treatment starts with accessing the inner portion of the tooth. This is done by creating a small hole to reach into the pulp chamber. The pulp and nerves are removed and the area is cleaned and disinfected. A filling is placed into the pulp chamber and the tooth is sealed off with either a filling and/or the placement of a porcelain dental crown.
The purpose of root canal therapy is to save a natural tooth and eliminate extraction and replacement. It has a high success rate and is incredibly popular for patients who want to reduce the need for expensive restorative options.