A root canal is a common term referring to Endodontic Therapy, in essence when a tooth sustains significant trauma or damage the pulp or nerve inside the tooth becomes necrotic or “dies”. This tissue becomes a source of irritation and becomes infected, often referred to as abscessing. Dental infections of this type can become very serious, even life-threatening, don’t take them lightly.
The solutions available to eliminate the source of this type of infection include either Root Canal/endodontic therapy or an extraction of the tooth.
If you have adequate tooth remaining to support a crown after a root canal this is most often the recommended treatment plan.
The procedure is normally comfortable provided the local anesthetic is profound. This is probable if the infection is partially controlled. In other words, you should expect to be perfectly comfortable. You may have heard people say that they had a bad experience with a root canal procedure, this is most likely if the tooth was acutely abscesses and the local anesthetic not effective. The tooth is opened much like when a filling is prepared and the internal chamber of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The inner chamber and root canal space is sealed and filled with a biocompatible rubber-like material to prevent reinfection.
After a successful root canal, treatment the tooth needs to be restored to its proper form, function and strength. This usually involves completing a “crown” on the tooth. You may have heard some people say they did a root canal and then the tooth fell apart, this probably means that they decided not to complete the recommended crown.
I hope this answers some of the questions you may have had regarding root canal therapy. Always remember prevention via regular
Visits to your Dentist will help reduce the complexity and cost of treatment in the long run. Catch problems early when they have simple solutions.
Dr Douglas T Hanson