Root canal therapy or endodontics is warranted when bacteria invade the pulp (inner portion that holds the nerve) of the tooth through a deep cavity or crack and cause infection.
What does having a root canal mean?
Simply put, a root canal is a dental treatment to rid the pulp of infection and to remove injured/dead pulp tissue as well as the nerve of the tooth. It involves cleaning the pulp canals with small files and sterile irrigating solutions which rid the canals of infection. The clean, hollow canal is then filled with an inert material, sealing the canal off.
After a root canal the tooth is at high risk for fracture as the tooth is now hollow as the pulp has been removed. In order to prevent fractures of a tooth that has a root canal, we will typically recommend a crown and in some cases a post system to fully protect the tooth for years to come.
At Rayburn Dental Studio the root canal most often completed in one appointment. After root canal treatment, your tooth may be tender for a short time period (1-2 weeks) but will go away as it heals.
Root canal treatment does not protect your tooth from a new cavity from forming. It is imperative to continue to keep it as clean as possible to prevent further breakdown.
Can a root canal save my tooth?
Many times a tooth or teeth can be saved by having root canal therapy but occasionally the damage that is done is irreverisble and it is determined by the doctor extraction (removal) is the only option.