Endodontics or Root Canals
Your dentist may have suggested that you need Root Canal Therapy or Endodontics for a particular tooth. Years ago, a badly infected tooth, or one that just had significant decay, was doomed to be extracted. Today, extraction is truly our last resort!
Some indications of the need for root canal treatment may be:
- Spontaneous pain or throbbing while biting.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods that lasts more than a few seconds.
- Severe decay or an injury that creates an abcess (infection) in the bone.
What is a root canal?
The removal of the infected or irritated nerve tissue that lies within the root of the tooth. It is this infected pulp tissue that causes an eventual abscess.
After the tissue removal, the empty canal is sterilized and then filled with a plastic material. The procedure may take more than one visit.
When you remove the nerve, does the tooth becomes ” dead? “
This is not true. The tooth is very much alive and functioning because it receives a source of blood supply and nerve supply from the surrounding tissues that hold it in place in your jaw bone. The tooth will have no sense of feeling to hot, cold or sweets but will be responsive to biting pressures etc.
With the proper restoration the tooth should last as long as your other teeth and can even be used as an anchor tooth for a partial denture or cemented bridge. The success rates for root canal therapy have been reported to be as high as 95%. There may be some soreness associated with the first or second root canal visit. If this should turn out to be true you will be given specific instructions to follow to minimize the discomfort. When an infection is present, it may be necessary to take an antibiotic. If pain should be present, analgesics may need to be prescribed. In either case, be sure to call us if either of these problems should arise.