Root Canal Treatment
If the pulp (the tissues that contain the nerve of the tooth) is diseased by decay or injured, it loses its vitality, and the tooth dies and becomes brittle. During this period of time you may or may not experience pain, swelling, or heat/cold sensitivity. The most common causes of pulp deaths are deep decay, a crack, or traumatic injury to the tooth. If the diseased pulp is not removed the tissues surrounding the root of the tooth become infected and an abscess can form, resulting in pain and swelling. Even if there is no pain or swelling, certain substances released by bacteria can damage the bone that anchors the tooth in the jaw. Without treatment, the tooth will have to be removed.
A root canal involves one or more visits. After anesthesia is given an opening is made in the tooth through the crown into the pulp chamber. The pulp or its remnants are carefully removed from both the chamber and the root canals. The root canal is cleaned and shaped to a form that can be filled in with a biocompatible material and then sealed.
Following a root canal a crown or onlay needs to be placed over the crown to strengthen the tooth and improve its appearance.
“Why not just have the tooth removed?” you may ask. The answer is a resounding “no.” A missing space in the mouth will lead to problems with chewing and possibly a decline in your appearance. In time the teeth will shift to close the gaps thus causing jaw pain.