Why do I need a Root Canal?
Every tooth contains an internal space that extends from the inside of the tooth, down through the root, and out of the root tip. This space contains the living part of the tooth called the pulp. This vital, living part is sometimes infected by bacteria from a deep cavity, or it will die if the tooth receives a severe blow. When this happens, the tooth becomes very sensitive to temperature change which may be prolonged. The tooth may also become very uncomfortable with biting pressure. The symptoms of temperature and pressure are related to irreversible changes that cause inflammation to the pulp and surrounding root tip areas. The damaged tooth must either be extracted or now treated with a root canal.
How is Root Canal Therapy Performed?
Often antibiotics are used to first remove the infection and reduce the painfulness of the inflammation. Once this is accomplished, the injured or dead pulp is removed from the pulp chamber and canals, and the now-empty chamber and canal spaces are disinfected and filled with an inert compound that seals the inside of the tooth. The procedure is done with local anesthesia, and the damaged tooth is isolated from the mouth with a dental dam. Root canals are usually painless because infection and inflammation are eliminated before beginning root canal therapy. Root canals are approximately 90% successful. The finishing touch for a root canal-treated tooth is a restoration to seal the root canal access, and often, to regain original strength, the tooth will receive a crown.